Create these summer dessert recipes with some of your favorite fresh fruits.
MyPlate, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), suggests women and men aged 51 and older eat at least 2 cups of fruit every day. That could be at breakfast, as a snack or even for dessert! Here are four recipes that use fresh fruits to create summer sweet treats:
1. Blueberry Tart
This recipe from Real Simple magazine combines lemon zest and fresh blueberries to create a sweet, flaky dessert.
- Flour – for your work surface
- 1 8-ounce sheet puff pastry – thawed
- 1 large egg – beaten
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese – softened
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 3 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
Heat your oven to 375 F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare your work surface with a light dusting of flour, and then lay down your pastry sheet. Roll it out to a 10x12-inch rectangle and transfer to the baking sheet.
Then, score a 1-inch border around the pastry using the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the border with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until pastry puffs up and turns to golden brown – this should take about 20 minutes.
Once it's finished, remove from the oven and gently press down the center to flatten it. Set aside and let cool for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until it reaches a smooth consistency. Gradually add cream, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and continue to beat until creamy.
Spread mixture over the flattened center of the puff pastry and arrange a single layer of blueberry until fully covered. Sprinkle with remaining confectioners' sugar and enjoy!
2. Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries
This recipe from food blog Spend with Pennies creates a bite-size treat out of a classic sweet!
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 4 Tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. peanuts – finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4-ounces cream cheese – softened
- 1/2 banana – mashed
- 1/4 crushed pineapple
- 1 box instant banana pudding
- Fudge sauce, sprinkles and cherries for decoration
First, prepare a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Wash and dry the strawberries. Then, slice off the tops and hollow out the centers using a small scoop. Cut the tips off to create a leveled bottom, then stand upright to let dry.
In the meantime, create the filling. Combine heavy cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons instant pudding mix with an electric mixer until it reaches a thick, fluffy consistency. Gradually fold in banana and pineapple chunks, and then place mixture in a large resalable plastic bag. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
Place your chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted, stirring in butter until smooth. Dip the bottom of each strawberry in chocolate mixture, and then in the nuts. Place on parchment and repeat with all strawberries. Set in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
When the chocolate is dry, cut the corner off the bag and pipe the filling into each strawberry. Top with fudge sauce, sprinkles and cherries and enjoy!
3. Quick Apple Crisp
This delicious treat from My Recipes uses fresh apples and only takes 15 minutes to create!
- 2 large apples – peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granola
- Optional: whipped cream, ice cream or vanilla yogurt for serving
First, divide your apple chunks between two microwave-safe bowls. Add 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt to each bowl and stir to combine. Dot each apple bowl with butter and cover with a paper towel.
Heat on high for about 3 minutes, stirring halfway in between. Let apples cool and remove from microwave. Top with granola and serve with whipped cream, ice cream or vanilla yogurt. Enjoy!
4. Summer Fruit Salad
One of the healthiest and most tasty ways to enjoy dessert is with a fruit salad. Try this summer recipe from Martha Stewart Living that uses an array of seasonal fruits. One of the secret ingredients? Orange juice!
- 2 plums – pitted and sliced
- 2 nectarines – pitted and sliced
- 2 peaches – pitted and sliced
- 2 to 3 apricots – pitted and sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup small fresh mint leaves
First, combine all fruits in a large serving bowl. Then, add the honey, orange juice and fresh mint leaves, tossing to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving to let flavors combine.