Fabulous Fruit Desserts
Our five-ingredient sorbet is an instant antidote to summer's scorch—and so pretty, too! The recipe works with most melons, berries or citrus fruits, and you can make it in an ice cream maker or refrigerator freezer. Plus, it's fat free!
Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries
Mildly nutty meringue cradles fresh berries in this classic dessert named for a ballerina. Use your favorite nut to flavor the meringue. Our Test Kitchen recommends pistachios, almonds or pecans. Any fruit works: blueberries, kiwi, bananas.
Summer Fruit Freeze
Connie Alger of North Manchester, Indiana, sent us the recipe for this fruity specialty that blends juice concentrate with other fruits for a make-ahead dessert.
"Not only is it refreshing in hot weather, it's refreshing after a heavy meal," Connie says. "Little ones and adults all love this."
Just freeze the ingredients together in a container. Then let it stand 30 to 60 minutes before scraping it off for a slushy ice. You'll think you're eating a sweet snowball.
Very Blueberry Pie
This easy-to-make pie calls for pouring a warm sugar glaze over a generous amount of fresh blueberries or raspberries.
This Dutch specialty, a puff pancake, bakes into a bowl shape that cradles a pile of sliced fresh peaches. The recipe comes from the Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast in Jonesboro, Illinois, where the pannekoeken gets a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar.
This quick-and-easy blender drink, from the Michigan Cherry Committee, combines cherries, milk, yogurt, blueberries or raspberries, juice concentrate, honey and vanilla.
Vegan Chocolate-Blueberry Parfait
"This is one of our signature vegan desserts," says Sarah Slater of Casa Nueva restaurant in Athens, Ohio. "Any kind of berry will do. Just buy what's in season. Vegans and nonvegans love it."
Mistress Suzanne's Bananas Foster
This cinnamon-spiced New Orleans classic is a popular dessert at Rider's Inn in Painesville, Ohio. Mistress Suzanne's Dining Room at the inn is named for the third wife of the original owner, Joseph Rider.
This easy recipe makes a refreshing dessert-- perfect for a brunch or light dinner. It's also a good recipe for entertaining; prepare the sour-cream sauce the day before your party, and then just layer the sauce and fruit in parfait glasses before serving.
Raspberry Cream Tart
Fresh berries work best in this elegant dessert (frozen berries get too watery). Keep fruit refrigerated and dry and use within a couple of days of purchase.
Peach Breakfast Parfaits
"This very simple fruit dish goes over big," says Mary Jo Smith, describing this parfait from Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast in Jonesboro, Illinois. Mary Jo serves it in sundae glasses with a swirl of yogurt on top. For a variation, add raspberries to the peaches.
Blueberry Cream Treats
When it's time for the blueberry harvest at DeGrandchamp Farms in South Haven, Michigan, this quick dessert fits the family's busy schedule. It's simple, yet so good.
Strawberry-Blueberry Cookie Crisp
Prep this easy dessert in just 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes. Crumbled pecan shortbread cookies form the topping over a fresh fruit filling.
You can use fresh black raspberries, blackberries, red raspberries, strawberries or blueberries in this rich gelato.
Cool tip Can't tell a blackberry from a black raspberry? The core of the black raspberry stays on the plant when picked, leaving the familiar hollow in each berry, just like red raspberries.
Peach of a Crumble
Cranberries make this peach crumble special--no surprise, since the recipe comes from Canoe Bay resort near Chetek, Wisconsin. Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in the nation. Serve with your choice of store-bought ice cream if you don't have time to make the Hint-of-Ginger Ice Cream accompaniment.
This sweet-tart, bright red dessert was featured in the Aledo, Illinois, Rhubarb Festival's Really Rhubarb cookbook.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
The family behind Illinois' Rendleman Orchards has amassed some great peach recipes in 135 years of growing peaches. This cake is no exception. Peach slices and brown sugar form a moist base for the tender, square cake--and when flipped over, that base becomes the topping. We like the cake warm with ice cream.
Choose-A-Fruit Ice Cream
Here's one recipe with three fruit versions to choose from: blackberry, raspberry or peach. For our photo, we made one of each, froze them in 15x10x1 inch pans lined with foil, then cut them into geometric shapes to stack. A purchased fruit sauce tops them off.
Double-Cherry Supreme Pie
Combine fresh (or frozen) cherries with dried, tart cherries for this classic pie, which was pictured on a cover of Midwest Living® .
Nuts and orange zest give a crunchy and flavorful twist to thsi summer classic.
Raspberry Custard Brulee
Layers of raspberries and custard topped with lacy caramelized sugar form this elegant yet easy-to-make dessert.
Similar to an apple brown betty or fruit crisp, this rustic dessert has a cinnamon topping that blends graham-cracker crumbs and pecans with sugar, butter and bread crumbs.
When you are shopping for fresh rhubarb, avoid limp or thick stalks, which tend to be tougher. You can also use frozen rhubarb to create this dessert. Botanically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable, but in recipes it's almost always treated as a fruit!
Like any good cook, Mary Jo Smith of Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast in Jonesboro, Illinois, adjusts her recipes as she prepares them over time. She has fine-tuned the custard layer for Peach Kuchen and added spices to the peaches. If you're in a hurry, substitute a single refrigerated unbaked piecrust for the Kuchen Crust.
Mix buttery pound cake, creamy vanilla pudding, soft cream cheese, and fresh berries for a rich comfort-food dessert. To trim calories, try making it with angel food cake, fat-free pudding, and low-fat or fat-free cream cheese.