Independence Day Berry Trifle
• 1 package (3.4-ounce) instant sugar free, fat free vanilla pudding
• 4 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries), washed and hulled, plus extra for garnish
• ¼ cup and 2 Tbs Splenda
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup Fat Free, whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 24 to 36 ladyfingers/vanilla wafer
1. To make the fillings, prepare the pudding according to the package directions and chill it.
2. Slice the strawberries, then toss all of the berries with the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of splenda. Set aside for 30 minutes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream, vanilla extract, and remaining 2 tablespoons of splenda until soft peaks form. Set aside.
4. To make the layers, set a layer of ladyfingers (around 7 or 8) on the bottom of a large, clear serving bowl. Top with the berries and with half of the pudding.
5. Add another layer of ladyfingers, another third of the berries and juice, and the rest of the pudding. Add a final layer of ladyfingers and berries. Top with the whipped cream and a berry garnish.
Serving this traditional English dessert in a glass pedestal bowl (4 qts) shows off its impressive layers of ladyfingers, pudding, and colorful fruits. If you don't have one, a regular glass bowl will also do the trick.
Fruit Flag Display
• 29 large strawberries
• 30 large blackberries
• 7 or so large bananas
• Lemon juice
1. Hull and halve 29 large strawberries and set them aside.
2. Arrange 30 large blackberries in the upper left corner of a serving tray or cutting board (it should be at least 8 by 13 inches).
3. Cut 58 banana slices, 3/4-inch-thick, into a bowl. Sprinkle on lemon juice and toss the slices gently with a rubber spatula to keep them from browning.
4. Assemble the banana slices in rows and top each slice with a strawberry half.
For ultimate freshness, prepare this treat right before serving. Present it with toothpicks for spearing the fruit.