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Adapted my nana’s version! Still divine! Even though she’s not here, she’s still here in spirit!

Introduction

Embark on a delightful culinary journey with the Lemon Berry Ritz Icebox Cake—a harmonious blend of tangy lemon zest, sweet mixed berries, and crisp Ritz crackers. This dessert pays homage to the classic icebox cakes that gained popularity in early 20th century America, offering a simple yet enchanting treat that chills to perfection overnight. Ideal for warm months when baking is less appealing or when a hassle-free dessert is needed for gatherings, this recipe promises to delight with every bite.

Lemon Berry Ritz Icebox Cake

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pack Ritz crackers (approximately 200 grams)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Berry Mixture:
  • In a bowl, combine the mixed berries, sugar, and lemon zest. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes to let the berries release their juices.
  1. Whip the Cream Mixture:
  • In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until smooth and well combined.
  1. Assemble the Icebox Cake:
  • In a 9×13 inch baking dish, create a single layer of Ritz crackers, filling any gaps with broken pieces if needed.
  • Spread half of the cream mixture over the crackers. Top with half of the berry mixture, spreading evenly.
  • Add another layer of Ritz crackers followed by the remaining cream mixture and top with the rest of the berries.
  1. Chill Overnight:
  • Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the crackers to soften and flavors to meld.
  1. Garnish and Serve:
  • Before serving, garnish with fresh mint leaves for a delightful finish.
See also  Cranberry Orange Bread with Simple Glaze

Variations & Tips

  • Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds or chopped walnuts between the layers for added texture and flavor.
  • Zesty Twist: Increase the lemon zest in the filling for a tangier taste, or add finely chopped crystallized ginger for a unique kick.
  • Dairy-Free Option: Substitute coconut whipped cream for heavy cream and mascarpone to accommodate dairy-free preferences.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I use different types of berries?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with your favorite berries or whatever is in season.

2. How long can I refrigerate the cake before serving?

  • The cake can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, but it’s best served within a day of assembly for optimal freshness.

3. Can I make this ahead and freeze it?

  • Icebox cakes are best enjoyed fresh from the refrigerator. Freezing may alter the texture of the crackers and cream.

4. What can I serve with this cake?

  • This cake pairs beautifully with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or alongside a refreshing citrus-infused tea or sparkling prosecco for a delightful contrast.

5. Can I prepare this without an electric mixer?

  • While an electric mixer makes the process easier, you can achieve similar results with a hand whisk and some elbow grease.

Delve into the world of effortless elegance with the Lemon Berry Ritz Icebox Cake—an exquisite blend of flavors that promises to captivate taste buds and elevate any occasion.