Did you know about icebox cakes? Harkening back to the 1920s, these desserts evoke, for many, memories of their grandmothers on hot summer days, yet somehow I had never experienced one of these until coming across a recipe from Faith Durand on theKitchn. These cakes can be made a day or two in advance (indeed - they must sit for at least 4 hours) and, best of all, don’t require any oven time. To make the cake, I used fresh summer berries from the greenmarket and modified the recipe above. Here are the steps I took:
1. Whip 2 cups heavy cream, then just before stiff peaks form, add in 1/3 cup granulated sugar and whip to combine.
2. Spread a small amount of whipped cream on the bottom of a pie dish, then layer the bottom with graham crackers. Note: given the circular shape of the dish, I had to exercise some puzzle skills. If you have a square or rectangular dish, it will certainly be easier.
3. Spread a nice layer of whipped cream on top of the graham crackers, followed by a layer of thinly sliced strawberries. Repeat until you have four layers of graham crackers. I used, in total, one pound of strawberries for the layers.
4. Cover the top with the remaining whipped cream, then decorate as you please! I topped mine with the remaining strawberries, a container of raspberries, and a handful of blueberries.
5. Cover the pie dish with foil, and refrigerate for at least four hours, until crackers are completely softened. I made mine the night before for a barbecue scheduled the next day - about 20 hours total.
Enjoy when you want a creamy, cool, and bright taste of summer!