For the Fourth, Color-Coordinated Sweets

I’m hardly a matchy-match kind of cook or party hostess; in fact, I prefer a motley assortment of colors and styles on my table than a uniform set of dishes and cutlery (after all, I did grow up with a pink piano in the dining room).


(Kim O'Donnel)

That said, when it comes to Fourth of July, I’m all about a red, white and blue menu. Not only is it a kick in the pants to put together a color-coordinated Fourth feast, there’s a ton of seasonal options in all the right shades.

Today, we’ll start planning backwards, with dessert. Is there anyone else who thinks there’s something wrong about eating chocolate on the Fourth of July? I dug up a bunch of red, white and blue sweet endings from the recipe vault that kick chocolate to the curb -- at least until the fifth. Taste the possibilities:

In the buckle department, we’ve got blueberry and rhubarb with candied ginger rockin' the ramparts.

In Mister MA’s opinion, you can never go wrong with cobbler; my favorite version gets topped with cream biscuits, which are a breeze to make by hand (seriously, no machinery required).

Who’s up for a homemade Pop-Tart? This is the best one you’ll ever have -- a freelance fruit tart, made with a sweet pastry dough, folded over and stuffed with berries of your choice. I’m a sucker for blackberry filling here, but shucks, blueberries are a superb stand-in.

Not quite a cake or a pudding but a delightful platform for cherries is clafoutis, a homey French treat baked in a cast-iron skillet. You also get to run around talking about your cla-foo-tee.

But if it’s cake that you must have, how about a one-layer upside down cake? Over the years, I’ve become fond of the rhubarb-strawberry combo, but there’s no reason to stop the creative juices from getting into the cake batter. Ooh. What about plums and blackberries?

Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without some kind of frozen component. Don’t forget about that purty-in-pink strawberry frozen yogurt that I made earlier this month. Dairy-free, I see? Try on this blueberry sorbet for size. If it were up to Mister MA, bourbon vanilla ice cream would be on the menu (and served at breakfast, lunch and dinner), which of course would be a stellar companion for cobbler, grown-up Pop-Tart or with a few antioxidant-rich berries on top.

What’s your color-coordinated pleasure this Fourth? Share with the class. Thursday, we'll talk sides and salads with color-coded potential.

By Kim ODonnel |  July 1, 2009; 12:15 PM ET Desserts , Holiday Treats
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Short of strawberry (gone) and blueberry (coming) seasons overlapping, I'm happy to say that raspberries are starting to peak around here, right now, and that means raspberry sorbet! Add some whipped cream and top it with blackberries (almost a blue), and there you have it!

Posted by: CentreofNowhere | July 1, 2009 3:53 PM

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