Fresh fruits sweetly complement any summertime meal. For a healthy serving of unique tastes, try these delicious, refreshing recipes that are fun for all occasions.
Hot Summer Nights Granita
From Tabitha Alterman, Mother Earth News associate editor
This dessert is tasty and light, and the recipe is intended to be modified based on seasonal, available and favorite ingredients. Experiment!
3 cups fresh fruit (e.g. berries, pineapples, mangoes,
peaches, tangerines ? try a mixture)
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar or ? cup fresh honey
2 cups fresh sweet juice (e.g. orange, apple)
1 cup fresh tart juice (e.g. lime, lemon, cranberry, sour cherry)
1 to 2 tbsp favorite flavor enhancers for desserts (e.g. chopped mint leaves, cloves, star anise, aged balsamic vinegar, diced chipotle peppers)
2 tbsp citrus fruit zest (from limes, lemons, oranges, etc.)
1 cup red wine (e.g. chianti, pinot noir)
? cup plus 2 tbsp fruity liqueur (e.g. brandy, kir, grand marnier)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Fresh mint leaves
Pur?e 2? cups fruit and set aside. Combine water, sugar or honey, fruit juices, flavor enhancers and all but a few shavings of zest in a saucepan. Heat slowly over medium-low heat about 5 to 7 minutes, or until a few minutes after sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and strain. Discard the solid ingredients. Allow syrupy liquid to cool completely. Stir in pur?ed fruit, wine and ? cup liqueur. Pour mixture into freezer-safe container. Freeze for 12 to 24 hours (texture will be in icy shards). Whip the cream with 2 tablespoons liqueur. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, remaining fresh fruit, a couple mint leaves and a curl of citrus zest.
It's easy to wow party guests with this colorful dessert, and its unique guava glaze adds drip-free flavor.
?ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon, peeled and
? ripe pineapple, peeled and cored
1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed
About 20 seedless green grapes
1/3 cup guava paste
2? tbsp fresh lime juice
20 10-inch bamboo skewers
*Find guava paste in Latin and Asian groceries and in the
ethnic section of well-stocked supermarkets.
Cut the melon into 1-inch, bite-sized cubes and place them in a large bowl. Cut the cored pineapple half into 5 to 8 long wedges and then into bite-sized chunks. Add pineapple to the bowl along with strawberries and grapes.
In a blender, pur?e the guava paste and lime juice into a smooth, thick dressing. Add 2 tablespoons of rum for a little fun. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss with fruit.
On each skewer, spear 7 or 8 pieces of fruit: begin and end with grapes to secure the other pieces. Serve immediately or cover well and refrigerate until serving time.
Fresh Fruit Lemon-Mint Cream
This creamy dessert isn't only tangy and invigorating; it's a
step above your grandma's fruit salad.
? cup nonfat plain yogurt
? cup reduced fat sour cream
? cup sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 cup fresh raspberries or other fresh fruit
Whisk yogurt, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and mint until the sugar dissolves. Chill covered for 1 hour. Divide raspberries (or other fruit) between 2 bowls and top with the lemon-mint cream.
Grilled Sweet Cheese Peaches
After barbequing, use the hot grill to create this elegant combination of sweet flavors.
4 ripe peaches (about 1? pounds)
1? tsp lemon juice
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 tsp sugar
Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Toss peach halves with lemon juice in a large bowl. Arrange halves cut-side down on the grill, flip after a few minutes and let them cook just enough to see grill marks and bubbling juices. Drizzle with honey and fill the grilled peach halves with lightly sweetened ricotta cheese (mix sugar with ricotta) and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.
Tart Lemon Tart
Served chilled with a lemon garnish, this recipe's tart citrus flavor and baked crust lends a cool, sophisticated ending to a rich summer dinner.
1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
7 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt
? tsp pure vanilla extract
? cup sugar
3 to 4 tbsp ice water
Juice of 4 lemons
5 tbsp butter
? cup sugar
5 eggs, well beaten
? tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lemon, sliced in very thin rounds
Cut the butter into small pieces and work it into the flour with a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingertips. Mix in the salt, vanilla and sugar, and then just enough ice water to bind. Press the dough with your fingers into a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan. Chill the crust 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the chilled crust with waxed paper and fill with dried beans, rice or pastry weights to prevent the crust from buckling during baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the waxed paper and its contents.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Mix together lemon, butter and sugar, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is just warm. Pour beaten eggs slowly into this mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Continue to stir over low heat until the mixture thickens into a custard. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared crust and bake for 35 to 50 minutes or until the custard sets and the top becomes golden.
From The Encyclopedia of Country Living
Good for all ages, this simple treat is extra tasty on lazy afternoons.
Firm, ripe bananas
Chilled, strained raw honey
Cut the bananas in half crosswise. Stick a popsicle stick into the end of each banana half as a handle. Coat each half with honey and then roll in the nuts. Freeze unwrapped until solid.
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