SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only! (The ad below will not display on your printed page)
Fresh fruit stars in our 25 recipes for smoothies, pie, ice cream, parfaits and more.
No one knows how fools (a centuries-old blend of whipped cream and fruit) got their playful name. Maybe it's because, with just 4 ingredients, you'd be foolish not to make one!
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.
Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries
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.
Summer Fruit Freeze
This easy-to-make pie calls for pouring a warm sugar glaze over a generous amount of fresh blueberries or raspberries.
Very Blueberry Pie
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.
"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."
Vegan Chocolate-Blueberry Parfait
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.
Mistress Suzanne's Bananas Foster
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.
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.
Raspberry Cream Tart
"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.
Peach Breakfast Parfaits
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.
Blueberry Cream Treats
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.
Strawberry-Blueberry Cookie Crisp
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.
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.
Peach of a Crumble
Hint-of-Ginger Ice Cream
This sweet-tart, bright red dessert was featured in the Aledo, Illinois, Rhubarb Festival's
Really Rhubarb cookbook.
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.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
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.
Choose-A-Fruit Ice Cream
Combine fresh (or frozen) cherries with dried, tart cherries for this classic pie, which was pictured on a cover of
Midwest Living® .
Double-Cherry Supreme Pie
Creamy, crunchy and sweet, this dessert puts a new spin on the traditional strawberry shortcake. The recipe calls for black walnuts, but you can substitute English walnuts, if you like.
Strawberry-Black Walnut Shortcakes
Layers of raspberries and custard topped with lacy caramelized sugar form this elegant yet easy-to-make dessert.
Raspberry Custard Brulee
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.
Drizzle watermelon with this citrus syrup for a spicy-sweet dessert. For a colorful twist, use watermelons of different shades-- red, orange and yellow.
Watermelon with Honey-Lime Syrup
Links:  http://www.midwestliving.com/slide/choose-a-fruit-fools