Summer starts this week, and it's going to be delicious in so many ways, not the least of which is all the awesome fresh local fruit growing everywhere. When the weather and the grills get hot, there are very few things yummier to me than something sweet, fresh and fruity for desert. Here are just a few of my favorite, simple ways to serve up a special summer surprise:
1) Make a pie! Any fruit can be used for pie, from apples to berries, plums or apricots. You can make a simple pie using store bought crust, or make your own crust following any easy recipe and get creative with the way you decorate the top. Use bits of extra pie dough to lattice the top, or cut out shapes with cookie cutters like flowers or stars, for example, and arrange on top of the fruit. It will look beautiful when cooked and taste amazing too. For an extra crunch, sprinkle some brown sugar on top as well; or dust with white confectioner sugar and decorate with edible flowers. Pies are delicious hot or room temperature, and I always love when there is fresh whipped cream or ice cream on the side.
2) Make a cobber. Just chop the fruit, mix with sugar and a bit of cornstarch, and make a crumble out of butter and sugar on top. Bake and serve hot with ice cream. Yum!
3) Grill your fruit! We love any grilled stone fruit like peaches, nectarines, plum or apricots. Pineapple is also juicy and delicious, and adds a tropical note to any hot celebration too. Simply cut the fruit in halves or quarters, or thick slices, and toss them on the hot grill just a couple of minutes per side. Or, get fancy and make smaller, more elegant slices that you can skewer and grill, then serve with some fresh mint or basil leaves. I also like to sometimes add fresh basil or mint to my whipped cream when serving it with fruit. It adds a whole new layer of sophisticated, summery flavor that most people love.
4) Make popsicles with your kids. Just let them squeeze and or mush up any fruit, from citrus to melon or whatever you have on hand. This is a great way to use up over-ripe fruit that's not pretty enough to serve fresh anymore, or any fruit you have too much of, which can happen in summer sometimes! Add a little water (with some sugar dissolved in it if you're doing lemons or limes), pour into Popsicle holders, freeze and enjoy. You could also make ice cream with any fruit if you have an ice-cream maker. It's really fun to get creative with new flavors using any fruit you love. Enjoy!
What are your favorite fruity summer deserts?