Friday, June 25, 2010



Wow, can it really be time to celebrate the birth of our country? We will all be leaving early next week for the lakes and beaches to get ready for our big day of feasting and fire works. The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Family, friends, food and fireworks who could ask for more?

Well, the cook in the family might ask for a little extra time relaxing on the lake or taking a ride on her pontoon, so I have a really easy recipe to make her life easier and it is straight out of my cook book, Carmela's Cucina.Italian Zuppa Englese. It is fast and easy to prepare. Make it early in the day and then go for that pontoon ride, fish with your husband or participate in that patriotic parade, knowing that you have something yummy in your fridge to offer your guests after the fireworks!

This recipe and other wonderful and easy Italian recipes are available in my cook book, Carmela's Cucina. To order one go to I will be happy to sign and personalize a copy for you and then mail it to your home. All of the recipes come from my culinary classes, food and wine tours or from the family restaurant, The Latin King in Des Moines, Iowa and of course includes the recipes of 3 generations of great Italian cooks.

Buon appetito e buon 4th of July,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins


1 large pound cake, angle food cake, or 2 packages of lady fingers
1-3 ounce package instant French vanilla pudding
1 pint whipping cream
4 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 pint each fresh raspberries and blueberries to decorate the top of the Zuppa Inglese

Cut the pound cake or angel food cake into cubes. Leave the Lady fingers whole. Prepare the pudding according to package directions and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To assemble, place half of the cake in a trifle or clear glass bowl and sprinkle with half of the Amaretto. Spread 1/2 cup of the raspberry preserves over the ckae, allowing some to dribble down the sides. Pour 1/2 of the pudding over the preserves. Spread 1/2 of the whipped cream over the pudding. Repeat the layers ending with the whipped cream. Decorate the top of the Zuppa Inglese with the fresh fruit.

****This dessert is best made in a trifle bowl or clear glass bowl.****

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