What's your best showstopper dinner party dessert? Bonus points for anything that uses late spring / early summer fruits.
Pavlova with a tangy curd and fruit as desired.
Individual but non-fruit: Merveilleux (David Lebovitz recipe) - almost no one has heard or seen it so it's a novelty and delicious.
I always love a free form fruit tart.
Eton Mess. Incredibly easy to prepare, just use the fruits you have/would like to eat, and the amount can easily be adjusted.
Trifle! Use a clear, straight sided bowl so you can see all the layers and colors. It's very impressive and oh so easy to make. Every time I have made this for a party, people are impressed.
Strawberry shortcake layer cake. Cut the layers in half horizontally for a dramatically tall cake. Lots of gorgeous fresh berries and whipped cream on top.
Do you have a favourite cake recipe for the layers? Thanks!
Yes, I do. I just received the book "Layered" by Tessa Huff and it's the recipe on the cover. Im not sure if the recipe is available online on a blog. I'm sure any plain chiffon cake would work! If you google the book you will see the recipe. It's stunning.
Boccona Dolche. I make it every June when the first Oregon strawberries appear at the farmers market.
Boccone Dolce..not the mess my kindle chose. Here is a good recipe for it. http://letthebakingbeginblog.com/2012/12/boccone-dolce-sweet-mouthful/
I love making galettes in the spring/summer with in season fruit! Super easy and no pressure because they're supposed to look rustic! I just use a regular pie crust recipe (flour, butter, salt, ice water), let the dough sit in the fridge overnight or at least two hours then roll out to around 12 inches. Throw the berries in some honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon/nutmeg and dump in the middle leaving 1 inch along the outside. Then just fold the edges in, and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Voila! Here's a recipe if you're more of a follow exact instructions kind of gal.
Oh and obviously serve with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream!
Mary Berry's Fraisier cake; find it on the bbc site. Or, when our blueberries are ripe, my ricotta custard and blueberry tart with a nut crescent crust posted here on Food52. Both are somewhat unique here in California; components can be made well in advance, which of course is essential, at least in my kitchen, for any dinner party dessert. (For future reference: favorite winter showstopper: Paris-Brest.) ;o)