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Lydie Marshall's Summer Fruits with Sweet Cheese

Take cooking teacher and cookbook author Lydie Marshall's advice: Find the best-looking fruits in the market and pair them with tangy fresh cheese and a sprinkling of sugar. You can use strawberries, blueberries and cherries now and blackberries and peaches later in the summer. The pool of crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) makes the dish elegant, but may be omitted or another fruit liqueur substituted. Can be prepared in a few minutes.

1/2 pound cream cheese
8 ounces mascarpone
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons cream
About 1 1/2 cups crème de cassis
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries , unhulled
1 pint sweet cherries on the stem
Additional sugar

Beat the cream cheese and the mascarpone with an electric mixer until thick. Beat in the sugar and enough cream to soften the cheese to the consistency of stiff whipped cream. Reserve in the refrigerator.

To serve, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons crème de cassis onto each dessert plate. Place a mound of the cream on each plate. Attractively arrange the fruit on and around the cheese. Pass a bowl of sugar on the side for guests to sprinkle as they please. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from "Great Desserts" by Mardee Haidin Regan

Thursday, July 15, 1999

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