Author Notes: I've listed below the fruits I used, but feel free to use what you have, or what is newly arrived at the farmers market, or even what you can harvest from your own trees and gardens.
I macerated them in a mixture of sparkling wine and campari. The former gives the fruit some zing, while the latter deepens the flavor and adds that fantastic color. The Campari softens the sweet of the fruit, and the fruits soften the bite of the Campari. What goes around comes around.
I used my own scone recipe (http://www.food52.com/recipes/11019_cream_scones_sweet_or_savory) and added a teaspoon of organic dried lavender blossoms. Before adding the sugar to the dry ingredients, I whirred it up in a food processor along with the lavender to break it up. A mortar and pestle would do just as well, and be sure to add some sugar for its great abrasive qualities. The lavender flavor blends beautifully with with the fruits, the Campari, and the whipped cream. With just about everything, I guess.
To transport on a picnic or camping trip, wrap the scones in a double layer of plastic wrap. Seal the macerating fruit in a good, airtight container. Take along a carton of whipping cream, a bit of powdered sugar to lightly sweeten it, a bowl and a whisk. Whipping the cream by hand is a great job to pass among those awaiting their *dividend*. It certainly doesn't need to whipped to a firm peak. Just enough to give it a little body is fine. Picnicking and camping are great for letting go of perfection.
And the dividend? Okay, I know we were to confine ourselves to foods, not beverages for the Picnic contest, but really now, if I didn't give you an idea of what to do with the luscious macerating solution, or worse, if I'd suggested you toss it out, you would have something to say about it, right? Besides, Amanda and Merrill indicated that foods that would pair well with wine are welcome. And sparkling wine is a . . . well, you get my drift. So take along some seltzer water. Divide the macerating liquid among glasses and don't worry about straining it. Seriously, even I don't take a fine mesh strainer picnicking or camping. Divvy up the limes and lemons. Add a few ice cubes - because you always take at least one bag of ice along, right? - and top up with cold seltzer water. Toast to the dividends of summer.
- 1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled, quartered
- 1/2 pint raspberries
- 1/2 pint blackberries
- 3 plums, pitted, 1/2" cubes
- 3 apricots, pitted, 1/2" cubes
- 1 bottle sparkling wine
- 4 ounces Campari
- 2 limes, quartered
- 2 lemons, quartered
- Lemon balm leaves
- 1/2 batch (one disk) of http://www.food52.com/recipes/11019_cream_scones_sweet_or_savory, 1 teaspoon ground organic dried lavender (or from your own beautiful bushes) added
- Whipped cream for garnish
- Place all fruits in a shallow casserole (non-reactive) or in a shallow plastic container with a secure lid. Add the sparkling wine and Campari. Squeeze in the juices from the quartered limes and lemons, then drop them all into the mix. If you have some lemon balm growing in your garden, pick several leaves, bruise them with your fingertips, and stir them in. Cover, refrigerate, and allow to macerate for a few hours.
- When ready to serve, split the scones through the middle beginning at the tip. Divide the fruits among all servings, spooning them over the bottoms of the scones. Replace scone tops and splop a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of each one.
- Proceed directly to the *dividend* suggestion above. Here's to summer!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Dish