With an abundance of fresh fruits, layers of rich cream and an oh-so-pretty pattern of red, white and blue, this little mason jar trifle is a great dessert to make with the family. We have been enjoying them as evening dessert and they work just as well for a picnic or barbecue.
The berries are first macerated in sugar, for a short time which creates luscious juice. As the fruit is layered the sweet juice binds it all together.
Homemade shortcakes give structure to to tiers of whipped cream and berries. The shortcakes bake up quickly, and the dough is easy to work with.
The red, white and blue hues of this dessert make it a lovely choice for a 4th of July gathering, but don’t stop there! It would be a welcome treat at any barbecue or summer party. The half-pint mason jars portion the dessert into convenient single-servings.
More importantly, the mason jars make them darn cute!
Triple Berry Mason Jar Trifle
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached (plus extra for rolling out dough)
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup blueberries, washed & stems removed
- 1/2 cup red raspberries, washed and dried
- 6 large strawberries, washed, hulled & sliced
- 6 half-pint glass mason jars, lids & inserts removed
- 1-1/2 cups fresh, whipped cream, or spray whipped cream can also be used
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2-cup of sugar, baking powder and salt.
Slice the cold butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender to cut it into the dry ingredients. If any large pieces remain, use your fingers to squeeze and flatten them.
Add in the half-and-half and use a spoon to toss and combine the mixture.
Dust a work surface with flour and turn the contents of the bowl out onto the floured area. Sprinkle the top with a bit more flour and knead by hand for just 2 or 3 minutes until it has just come together into a smooth dough (add a sprinkle more flour to the work surface or dough to keep it from getting too sticky.)
Roll the dough out to a 1/2" thickness. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. (Or use a glass or clean lid if you don't have a cutter - I found a 2-inch lid on a large spice bottle!)
Place the shortcake dough circles on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, until they are slightly puffed and just before they start to brown. Remove them to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
While the shortcake is baking, macerate the fruit: place the blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries into a medium mixing bowl. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar over the berries and toss to coat them. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
Once the berries have finished macerating and the shortcakes are cool, assemble the trifles: place one shortcake round in the bottom of a mason jar. Add in 2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture, top with about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream (eyeball it if you're using spray whipped cream from a can.) Place another shortcake round on top of the cream, top with 2 more tablespoons of berries. Finish the top of the trifle with a generous dollop (or squirt) of whipped cream.
Serve immediately. The trifles may also be assembled and refrigerated for up to an hour before serving. Makes 6 servings.