Fourth of July: 5 simple, single-serving desserts for small gatherings

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Every summer, bestselling cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Coudreau goes all out on the Fourth of July: Guests mingle on the deck of her Oakland home, feasting on potato salad, Patrick-Coudreau’s homemade vegan sausages and the sweet, festive centerpiece: A silky strawberry parfait that is served in a big bowl — just waiting to be scooped by everyone.

This year, for her party of three — husband David, who makes appearances on her now-online cooking classes, and one other couple — Patrick-Coudreau will set two cafe tables 10 feet apart and let her guests scoop their own salad with utensils from home. And pre-filled parfait glasses will eliminate the need for communal scooping.

“We’re keeping things separate as much as possible given COVID-19,” says Patrick-Coudreau, author of eight cookbooks, including “The Joyful Vegan” and “The Vegan Table.” “We are still going to be able to connect with the people we care about but we’re doing it in a mindful way.”

Block parties and big barbecues won’t be the norm this Fourth of July. Instead, we’ll be celebrating with our nuclear families or in very small groups. To accommodate the change, our favorite festive sweets can also be tiny — in easy single-serving sizes that take the hassle out of shareable eats. Think popsicles, hand pies or pre-sliced cake with plastic forks (if you must) that still showcase the season’s lush berries.

Here are five fantastic Fourth of July treats, starting with Patrick-Coudreau’s vegan vanilla custard.

Strawberries add color and bright flavors to this silky vegan custard for Fourth of July. (Marie Lamoret) Strawberry Banana Parfait with Vanilla Custard and Candied Almonds

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Noticing those COVID calories? Eating as healthfully as possible is more important than ever, says Patrick-Coudreau. It’s one reason she loves this silky custard made on the stove with ingredients including vanilla almond milk, corn starch and sugar. Layer in fresh strawberries and bananas — maybe a few blueberries — and you have a showstopper dessert that Patrick-Coudreau suggests serving in individual parfait glasses.

Stunning lime souffles get the festive, summer berry treatment in this recipe from “Tasty Pride.” (Lauren Volo) Lime Soufflés with Summer Berries

Baked in ramekins, these baby soufflés can be tucked into a bag and taken to the park for a socially distanced picnic. The recipe, featured in “Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community” by Jesse Szewczyk and BuzzFeed’s Tasty (Clarkson Potter; $25), comes from New York pastry chef Orlando Soto, who uses the zest of two limes in the soufflé. He also recommends macerating the berries in lime juice before spooning them atop your hot soufflé.

Fresh blueberries update the soft-centered, gooey butter cake. (Lauren Volo) Gooey Blueberry Butter Cake

What’s butter cake? It’s a soft-centered sweet confection often served at Thanksgiving meals in Missouri, its birthplace. Detroit chef April Anderson spent two years updating the treat into something she’d be proud to serve at her organic bakery, Good Cakes and Bakes. Her from-scratch recipe, also featured in “Tasty Pride” (Clarkson Potter; …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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