Mascarpone-Stuffed Strawberries

A quick, no-cook, red-white-and-blue dessert to serve at your July 4th picnic.
By: Michelle Buffardi

It's the fourth of July, a day for shorts, fireworks, burgers and red, white and blue desserts, all in the name of independence. That flag cake, the one with the stars and stripes represented by strawberries and blueberries, it's a bit overdone, wouldn't you say? And it kind of takes a long time to place all of those berries in perfect lines. Update your standard July 4 dessert this year with a super-fast, no-cook red-white-and-blue treat that you can make in about 7 minutes.

And if you're loyal to the flag cake, these little berries play well with others, so serve them alongside.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Strawberries

5 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 quart strawberries
1 pint blueberries

Wash the blueberries and pat dry with paper towel. Wash and hull the strawberries, pat dry. Slice off the bottom of each strawberry to make a flat end. This allows the strawberries to stand upright on a platter.

Mix together the marscarpone cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Spoon the mixture into a resealable bag and snip off one of the corners of the bag (you can also use a pastry bag). Pipe the marscarpone filling into the cavity of each strawberry and top with a blueberry.

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