English Summer Berries and Cream, the Perfect Summer Dessert

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Berries and cream is the most perfect of all summer desserts, I think.  There's nothing like freshly picked berries sprinkled with a bit of sugar, with cream poured on top--utterly delicious!.  And there's no cooking, almost no prep work, so it's the perfect no-bake dessert for a relaxed summer evening. 

Bowl full of fresh berries and cream, on a black background, surrounded by fresh whole English summer berries.

Our theme for the Taste Creations blog hop this July is Summer Produce, and while I love pretty much all of the bountiful produce in summer, I love berries the best!  

This month's blog hop also finds me smack-dab in the middle of our family's move from Phoenix, Arizona, to Hertfordshire, England.  We're in an AirBnB still while we're looking for a place to rent long-term, and the kitchen is very minimally equipped.  And I can't figure out how to make the oven work!  I can make the light turn on, I can make the convection fan turn on, I can turn the timer on, and I can turn the broiler function on.  But not just regular baking temperatures!  I never even considered that I'd have this difficulty in moving to a new country, but I'm up for the adventure.  When you see baked goods on the blog again, you'll know I've figured it out.  Or moved.

Berry Picking in Hertfordshire, England:

Strawberries growing in raised beds at Hawkswick Lodge Farm in Hertfordshire, England.

Since actually cooking something with summer produce wasn't an option, I decided to go berry picking with my family.  I adore berries, and am absolutely THRILLED to be living somewhere where they grow, after spending nearly 20 years in the Arizona desert.  Look at those gorgeous strawberries!

Strawberries growing in raised beds at Hawkswick Lodge Farm in Hertfordshire, England.

We picked our fruit at Hawkswick Lodge Farm, an absolutely lovely pick-your-own farm near St. Albans, just a bit north of London.  I particularly liked how the strawberries are planted in raised beds--or perhaps I should call them elevated beds?  They are entirely off the ground, and are about chest high, which made picking the strawberries a breeze!  I'll bet it helps with pest control, too.  I'm going to have to remember this technique when I have a garden of my own.

Baskets of freshly picked summer berries, including red currants, gooseberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Even though we have a very small fridge, we had so much fun picking berries that we ended up with a LOT.  I predict a berry-centric diet for the next few days.

We picked strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and red and black currants.  I'd never had currants or gooseberries before, so this was an extra fun berry picking trip for me!  My Arizona babies had only gone strawberry picking on a visit to the grandparents in Alabama several years ago.  

Berries and Cream

Gooseberries, currants, strawberries, and raspberries on a white cutting board.

The gooseberries and currants were tart alone, but when mixed with the sugar and cream, I loved them fresh.  I can't wait to try making jam and pie with them, since I absolutely love tart fruits.

Sugar being sprinkled on a bowl full of fresh English summer berries, including strawberries, gooseberries, currants, and raspberries.

To make Berries and Cream, the easiest summer dessert ever, simply sprinkle sugar over your fresh berries, and then pour cream on top.

Cream pouring on a bowl full of fresh summer berries sprinkled with sugar.

Funny story:  we also had a very tough time even finding the cream and sugar for this recipe!  We were in Sainsbury's, a good sized grocery store.  I knew sugar had to be there somewhere, but it was absolutely nowhere in the baking aisle.  We tracked a store worker down and were led to the tea aisle.   Evidently it makes more sense to have sugar in the tea aisle than the baking aisle!  The cream was in the dairy case, but we didn't notice it because it's packaged very differently than I am used to in the states.  It's not in a jug or a carton, but rather in what looks like a takeout cup.   And once we'd been led to the right product, I had to google to figure out what the different grades of cream here are called.  I still need to do more research, but I'm pretty sure that single cream is like half-and-half, double cream is like heavy whipping cream in the US, and the UK's whipping cream has more butterfat than anything I've encountered in the states.  Yet another thing I like about this adventure in a new country!

Summer berries and cream in a white bowl, on a black background, surrounded by fresh summer berries.

I had another bowl of berries and cream for breakfast this morning.  And I'm sure I'll have another bowl later today.

Baskets of freshly picked summer berries, including red currants, gooseberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

And then I'm going to make some jam!  I do know how to use the stovetop (aka the hob here) at least.  

Collage of summer produce recipes optimized for pinterest

Other Fabulous Summer Produce Recipes:

Be sure to check out the rest of the amazing summer produce recipes from my blogger friends in the Taste Creations Blog Hop:

Our Good Life:  Strawberry and Blueberry Kebabs with Fireball Glaze

An Italian in my Kitchen:  Frozen yogurt, chocolate chip, and Summer Fruit Bark

Mom Home Guide: Green Salad with Salmon, Avocado & Tomato (Plus Cilantro Lime Dressing)

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for strawberry sauce for ice cream

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for Strawberries and Cream Popsicles

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for homemade strawberry shortcake

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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