Summer Peach + Berry Trifle

I have been dying to make a peach dessert after seeing all the delicious-looking peaches at the farmer's market each week.  I found this recipe on Pinterest from Practically Functional blog and decided to try it.  I made a few small tweaks, and added raspberries because they added more color and are pretty much my favorite fruit lately.  Not much prep goes into making a trifle and it's pretty much all assembly- my kind of baking!  This is the perfect dessert to whip up quickly for a summer cookout or last minute picnic!

Here's what you need:

4 peaches

2 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 pre-made angel food cake

1 lb. cream cheese (at room temperature)

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

To begin, pull out your cream cheese and heavy cream so that they can adjust to room temperature while you are preparing the rest of your trifle.  Your first step is to heat your lemon juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan on medium to high heat, stirring constantly.  Once the sugar has completely dissolved, you can remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

Cut up your angel food cake into 1 inch slices or thinner.  Brush each side of each slice of cake with the lemon/sugar mixture you just made on the stove.  Be sure to completely coat each side as much as you can.  I even ended up drizzling my slices with more of the liquid after I had brushed both sides.  Now you can cut up your slices into small cubes (about 1 inch).

Next you can prepare your cream topping.  With a hand mixer, beat the rest of your sugar and cream cheese together until smooth (use medium speed).  You can add the heavy whipping cream in slowly, one cup at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture.  When you are done, your mixture should be completely smooth (mine was the consistency of a very thick whipped cream).

Wash and chop up all your fruit.  I only cut up my peaches since the raspberries and blueberries were already pretty small.  Then I tossed all my fruit together with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Finally you can assemble your trifle!  You can use a glass bowl, trifle dish, or if you want individual servings- mason jars!  Simply layer the angel food cake cubes, followed by the fruit, followed by the cream topping.  I just eyeballed it and quickly figured out that the thinner your layers are, the prettier your trifle looks!  I layered my first jar a little too thick and could barely fit 2 sets of layers in.  On my next jars, I was more careful to do very thin layers and was able to get 3 sets of each layer in.   I used large mason jars and had enough to fill 5 jars to the brim!  

I love the idea of serving these in mason jars which makes them perfect for gifting and sharing with friends and family!  You could even decorate the jars with different labels, tags, or ribbon-I used some twine to tie on a spoon and a wildflower.  If you are having a party and want to serve smaller servings, you can use glass sundae cups or the miniature size mason jars.  

After you assemble your trifle it's best to let it refrigerate for an hour or so to let the cream topping thicken up a bit.  The cream is not overpoweringly sweet and you can really taste the rich cream cheese flavor.  It's the perfect compliment to the bright, slightly tart fruit and the soft, fluffy texture of the cake.  Truly the perfect summer dessert!