Easy and elegant summer fruit dessert recipes

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What to do with all those berries, cherries and stone fruits

The berry cobbler mixed with ice cream whipped cream is my all time favorite summer dessert. I’ve been making a fruity, tender, not too sweet version of this treat for decades. Sometimes I double the recipe; the remains disappear quickly.

The shoemaker’s crust that follows, flavored with sweet butter, orange zest and whole wheat hazelnut flour, is very easy to prepare, especially compared to the pie crust. Reminiscent of a good cookie, with light, flaky layers and a crunchy sweet top, the cobbler crust contrasts beautifully with the hidden goodness of red berries.

As written, this shoemaker asks for blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, but you have a choice when it comes to the fruit layer. After a day of berry picking, I like to make this recipe with just blueberries – a terribly easy alternative to blueberry pie. When the strawberries are small and local, an all-strawberry version tastes best this summer. Using a combination of seasonal farmers market berries, on the other hand, creates a sophisticated, less sweet dessert.

I highly recommend storing heavy cream and mascarpone during berry and peach season. Thus armed, you can concoct a gourmet dessert at any time. Adding a little mascarpone or crème fraîche to lightly whipped heavy cream adds heat and helps stabilize the mixture. The jumpsuit will stay fluffy for hours in a fridge or packaged in a cooler.

Layer the whipped cream concoction with nectarines and berries for an impressive dessert without pastry skills.

When the cooking is cold, I like to bake the latest edition lemon wafer cookies from “The Joy of Cooking” to use in parfaits. Or use the best store-bought butter cookies to add to layers; they will soften slightly and add a delicate texture to the parfaits. Serve additional cookies, still in their crispy state, on the side.

If no-bake recipes are more your summer speed, granita, a frozen dessert made with fresh fruit and ice cream, ranks as the most refreshing of all summer fruit desserts. I buy cherries in season and denounce them before freezing them. Simply thaw the cherries briefly for the following recipe. Serve the ice cream in small dishes with a little prosecco or sparkling wine.

Cobbler with berries mixed with mascarpone and lemon cream

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cold: 30 minutes

Cooking: 1 hour

Makes 8 servings

Remarks: I use Bob’s Red Mill Decorating Sugar to brown my cobbler and pie crusts during the summer fruit season.

Use a 9 inch deep pan for this recipe to avoid bubbles in the oven.

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup heavy or half and half whipping cream

1 tablespoon heavy or half and half whipping cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

5 tablespoons of cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon of salt

3 cups of hulled blueberries

3 cups sliced ​​small strawberries

1-2 cups of raspberries

2 tablespoons of fresh orange or pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon heavy or half and half whipping cream

Coarse sugar, for garnish

Mascarpone and lemon whipped cream see serving recipe

Combine 1 1/4 cup cake flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest in a large bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of very cold unsalted butter chunks and use a pastry blender or clean hands to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse flour.

Pour 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream over the flour mixture and use a large fork to pull everything together into a shaggy dough. You should not overwork the dough. Flip the dough onto a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Gather dough into a 1-inch-thick square and wrap in foil. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8 or 9 inch deep square baking dish. Place on a baking sheet in case any bubbles boil over.

For the garnish, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add 3 cups of blueberries, 3 cups of strawberries, 1 to 2 cups of raspberries and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Toss gently to coat the berries evenly. Transfer to a prepared baking dish.

Flour a work surface and place the spread on it. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into an 8 or 9 inch square to match your baking dish. Carefully transfer to the baking dish to largely cover the berry filling; it does not need to completely cover the top. Prick with a fork to let the steam escape. Don’t worry if the dough tears; just use your fingers to fix it. Sprinkle the top of the dough with 1 tablespoon of cream and then icing sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling on the edge, 50-60 minutes. If you want the top to be more golden, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Use a large spoon to pour the mixture into the serving dishes. Garnish with generous dollops of mascarpone whipped cream.

Mascarpone and lemon whipped cream

Preparation: 10 minutes

Makes 2 generous cups

To note: I refrigerate my mixing bowl and beaters in hot weather to keep everything as cold as possible. Serve it with fresh berries or sliced ​​peaches or with cobblers, pies and chips. If stored very cold, the cream will keep its peaks soft for hours.

1 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1/3 cup mascarpone or crème fraîche

1/2 teaspoon very finely grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt

Place 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a refrigerated stainless steel mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until it begins to thicken.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until soft peaks form.

Stir in 1/3 cup of mascarpone cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of salt just long enough to combine.

Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve (or up to 6 hours).

Perfect with nectarines and berries

Preparation: 20 minutes

Rest time: 20 minutes

Cooling time: 1 hour or up to 6 hours

Makes 4 servings

If you don’t want to use orange liqueur, replace the liqueur and sugar with 1 or 2 tablespoons of orange blossom honey.

1 large nectarine or ripe peach, halved, pitted

1 cup very thinly sliced ​​ripe strawberries

1 cup fresh red, golden or black raspberries or blackberries

3 tablespoons of orange liqueur

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Mascarpone and lemon whipped cream, see recipe

8 butter cookies, boudoirs, amaretti or ginger cookies, crumbled

Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

Working over a bowl, use a sharp knife to slice 1 nectarine or a peach very thin. Add the nectarine slices, 1 cup of strawberry slices and 1 cup of raspberries to the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of orange liqueur and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar; stir gently. Let stand for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the mascarpone and lemon whipped cream.

Place a generous spoonful of fruit at the bottom of 4 dessert or wine glasses. Garnish with 1 spoonful of Mascarpone cream, a few cookie pieces and more fruit. Repeat the layers to fill the glass evenly, ending with a dollop of cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

Serve cold, garnished with fresh raspberries and sprigs of mint.

Frozen sweet and sour cherry granita

Preparation: 15 minutes

Freezing: 5 to 6 hours

Makes 6 cups (6 servings)

Garnish granita balls with a spoonful or two of sparkling wine, if desired. I like to add Amarena cherries in syrup or Luxardo Maraschino cherries for a triple cherry delight.

Note: For a simple syrup, simmer 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for several weeks. You can use frozen cherries if you can’t find them fresh.

1 pound sour cherries without stems, pitted (2 cups)

1 pound sweet cherries, hulled, pitted (2 cups)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 to 2/3 cups simple syrup (see note)

1/8 teaspoon of salt

Luxardo maraschino cherries, optional, for garnish

Puree 1 pound of pitted sour cherries and 1 pound of pitted sweet cherries with 1/2 cup of water in a blender (batch work if necessary) until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer into a 13 x 9-inch metal pan. Stir in simple syrup to taste and salt.

Freeze until very melted, 1 to 2 hours. Rake the mixture with a large fork to fluff it up. Then repeat the freezing and raking process every 2 hours until it is fully swollen and frozen.

Return to freezer and repeat freezing and raking process with fork 2 more times.

Serve the mixture in small glasses with an ice cream scoop. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.


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