Raspberry Nectarine Icebox Cake
Pairs Well With
¾ cup Pedroncelli Rosé
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon rum or brandy (optional)
2½ cups heavy cream, chilled 2½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
2 (4.5-ounce) box ladyfingers (about 28 ladyfingers)
6 nectarines (about 2 pounds), pitted and cut in ½-inch slices
½ pint raspberries
Crumbled amaretti cookies, for topping
Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the wine, brown sugar and cloves. Simmer over medium heat, stirring, just to dissolve sugar, a few minutes. Turn off heat, and add rum or brandy, if using. Set aside, off the heat, to cool.
Put cream and confectioners’ sugar in a clean bowl and, using a stand mixer, hand mixer or whisk, whip to very soft peaks — not too stiff. Stir in almond extract.
Build the cake: One at time — they’ll be too soggy otherwise — quickly dip one side of each ladyfinger in the syrup, and place in a 9-inch square baking dish with 2-inch sides (or something similar, doesn’t have to be ovenproof ). Repeat until the bottom of the pan is lined with syrup-dipped ladyfingers.
Dollop about a quarter of the whipped cream all over the ladyfingers, then spread with a spatula. Scatter half of the sliced nectarines, then half of the raspberries, over the cream. Chilled, creamy and not too sweet, this simple, no-bake icebox cake is a perfect dessert. In truth, it’s even a bit like tiramisù, but with ripe summer fruit. Store-bought ladyfingers make it easy; shop at the farmers’ market for the best fruit. Make it a few hours or even a day in advance of serving for effortless entertaining.
Dip the remaining ladyfingers, one at a time, into the syrup, and layer them over the fruit. Spread another quarter of the whipped cream, then scatter the remaining nectarine slices and raspberries over.
Top with the remaining whipped cream and spread to your liking.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight. (Cover lightly with wax paper, if you like.) Before serving, sprinkle with amaretti. The cake may be cut into squares, or simply scooped out with a big spoon.
Recipe by David Tanis