Summer fruit desserts 2016: Think outside the pie plate

Summer fruit desserts: Think outside the pie plate

By Corbin Tomaszeski Spring and summer bring us fruits in such abundance it’s hard to eat it fast enough. Sometimes we even eat so much of it, we spoil our dinners. Often, the natural inclination is to bake pies, but pies can be difficult to perfect, and take over an hour to make from start to finish, despite being sold as a "simple" dessert. Luckily, there are many core recipes you can look to to transform any fruit you have in excess that aren’t very labour intensive and offer wow factor beyond the humble pie.

Think Simple: Fruit Sauces

If you’ve got good ice cream at home, you’re about 20 minutes away from having a show stopping summer dessert you can serve in a bowl, or in a parfait presentation. Take 3 cups of fruit and put in a frying pan or saucepan with a little water to cook the fruit. Add salt and sugar to taste. Add 1 ounce of alcohol if you want. Reduce the fruit sauce to the desired consistency and serve over ice cream (or oatmeal, or cake, or shortbreads, etc.) For some fruits, you might want to consider adding other flavoring ingredients: 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to blueberries or strawberries, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg or cardamom to peaches, ½ teaspoon of black pepper to cherries.

Summer Fruit Cake

This isn’t your Christmas, um… gift. It’s a muffin method-based cake you layer your fruit in, and serve in small squares with fresh fruit and whipping cream. It’s so simple, you can even make it at the cottage if your kitchen isn’t that well-stocked. Substitute your fresh fruit, and toss with a little cornstarch to coat the fruit for the apples in this recipe.

Pavlova: Fruit’s Best Friend

A Pavlova is a simple dessert that looks beautiful. Make a meringue with 4 egg whites and 1 cup of sugar, beaten until firm peaks form. Spread the mixture on a parchment paper Bake for 1 to ½ hours in a very low oven (180-200 degrees fahrenheit) Cool completely, and add 1.5 cups of whipped cream and pile high with fresh fruit (or fresh fruit and your fruit sauce). Add a sprinkling of liqueur to the fruit if desired.

Be A Fool

Fool is a dessert that has fallen out of fashion but is still a winner when you serve it. How bad can it be? It’s essentially whipping cream and sugar folded together and served in a chilled glass. It’s ridiculously easy and won’t heat up your kitchen in the dead of summer. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream and ¼ to ½ cup of sugar. Fold in your fruit sauce and fill glasses. Add fresh fruit to the top of your fool and serve. You don’t have to learn how to make a perfect pie crust to enjoy eating fruit for dessert this summer. With a little imagination and a few formulas, you can make four restaurant-worthy desserts in your home easily all summer long.

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