Probably the most common symbol of Summer Solstice is the sun itself. Litha after all is a celebration of the longest day and all the benefits that come with the sun’s lifegiving light and heat. In hot weather appetities are smaller and lighter dishes are popular. This frozen dessert/fruit salad is a simple way to present the idea of celebrating the powerfilled peak of the Solar year at the end of a meal.
The Summer Solstice to me has always included strawberries. In this part of the world, the first fresh local berries had finally arrived and all was good with the world. For the past two years though fruit crops have been a month early and the berries, just not the same. Pushed by climate change, they seem to be pushing back.
The good news is that strawberries are the first of several berry choices so please adjust to what is locally available for this tribute to the relationship between our planet and the centre of our solar system.
You will need:
Yellow ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt
Fresh local fruit and berries
Freshly chopped mint (optional)
Lavender Honey (or what is readily available to you)
Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
“In my kitchen filled with Care, I welcome, Earth, Fire, Water, Air”
I seem to have lost the ice cream pictures so let’s start with a little explanation. The easiest way to create the yellow suns seen below is to purchase a brick of a yellow coloured frozen dessert. When a brick is purchased and the packaging cut open it is possible to slice the ice cream etc. as one would slice bread and then using a sun or sunflower shaped cookie cutter, create the number of individual suns needed.
Purchasing frozen dessert in a tub is a little more tricky. It will be necessary to warm the edges so that the contents can slip out before slicing. The edges will be soft and that can get a little messy.
Option three is to make your own ice cream/frozen yoghurt and freeze on a cookie sheet which will allow you to press out the sun shaped pieces once hardened. Option four is to add a very small amount of yellow food colouring to softened vanilla ice cream and refreeze before creating the suns.
Whichever option you choose, please remember that time outside the freezer will quickly soften whichever choice, so keep everything you are not actually working on in the freezer. (I got called away after taking pictures and the entire dessert ended up in a smoothie.)
The step of creating the suns can be done a day before and stored covered in the freezer until needed.
Make the best choice you can for what is in season, tasty and easily available locally.
Finely slicing a couple of leaves of mint and tossing with the fruit will add extra flavour but if there is not a clump growing outside the back door, it is not necessary to purchase an entire bunch for a few leaves unless you have additional plans.
Wash, chop and place prepared fruit in a bowl. Whip whipping cream with a little sweetener and put aside.
If you have infused rose or lilac flavours, feel free to substitute or choose another tasty honey option.
The Midsummer full moon is also called the ‘Honey Moon’ as the first of the honey is now available making honey and the busy little bees that make it appropriate additions to any Summer Solstice celebration. ( I am not suggesting serving the bees, just recognizing and honouring them. )
Mix together the vinegar and honey and toss the fruit mixture in the dressing. Allow the fruit to sit for at least 30 minutes.
To serve, place the sun in the middle of the plate. Spoon the fruit salad around the outside of the sun.
With a fine tip piping bag or a small sandwich bag with the corner clipped off, pipe whipped cream around the outside of the sun. Serve immediately.
Litha Fruit Salad with Summer Solstice Sun from My Kitchen Wand