When June comes around, there is a variety of fresh fruit to choose from when planning a dessert.
Which is timely, because we also celebrate Father’s Day this month.
My dad’s birthday is in June and even though he enjoyed his onion sandwiches and sour pickles, he had quite the sweet tooth. Here are a few of his favorite summer desserts:
Makes an 8- or 9-inch square pan
- 1/2 cup. melted butter
- 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 packages cream cheese (8 oz size), softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 packages dream whip (or similar product)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, raspberries or blackberries
For crust: Mix butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Press into the bottom and up the sides of your pan.
For filling: In large mixer bowl, blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. In small mixer bowl, mix up the dream whip per package directions. Fold the dream whip into the cream cheese mixture. Pour this mixture over the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate overnight or at least four hours. Top with fresh fruit.
This makes a nifty Fourth of July dessert, since you can make a red, white and blue design, using blueberries and any red berry. Double the recipe for a 9- by 13-inch pan for a rectangular flag shape.
Fresh Fruit Shortcake
These are nice and easy to make, plus they freeze well if you have any leftovers. The shortcakes are the only part you need to bake and they only need to be in the oven for 15 minutes or less. For fruit topping, use strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
Makes 24 individual shortcake
- 1 cup chilled butter
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsps. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 Tbsps. sugar
- 1-1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk
8 cups fresh berries, cleaned and hulled
1-1/2 cups sugar
For shortcakes: In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar and sugar. Cut butter into the flour mixture until pea size lumps form. Add the milk and stir together until the dough follows the spoon around the bowl. Let dough rest, covered for 15 minutes.
Flour your counter. Divide the dough in half, rolling each half out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut shortcakes out using a floured biscuit cutter or glass (about 2-1/2 – to 3-inches in diameter).
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes in a 425 F oven.
For fruit topping: Mash the berries and sugar together and let stand or refrigerate for at least a half hour.
To serve: Slice a shortcake in half and place on dessert plate. Add a ladle of berry topping. Top with ice cream or whip cream.
Peaches and Cream
The trick with this treat is to let the peaches sit in the cream for at least several hours—the peaches permeate the cream and sometimes that’s the best part!
6 fresh peaches
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 tsp. real vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Put the ice cream in a bowl and let it melt. Whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Clean and pit the peaches (you do not need to peel them) and add to the cream. Stir to cover the peaches with the cream. Refrigerate for at least four hours or so before serving.
The ice cream provides the decadent version of peaches and cream. You can easily substitute skim milk or soy milk. In the case of skim milk, you can even mix in a bit of vanilla yogurt for extra body. It improves the calcium content too.
- 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh rhubarb
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 lemon
- For crumb topping:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oats (instant or regular)
For filling: Place the rhubarb in an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan. Pour the honey over the rhubarb. Sprinkle with the zest and juice of lemon.
For the topping: Mix together all ingredients using a fork or a pastry cutter to make a crumble mixture. Sprinkle this over the rhubarb mixture and pat down.
Bake in a 350 F oven for about 40 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.