Most fruit desserts, including the ones in this book, offer the benefit of being easy to make. They’re also good examples of the culinary principle that if you start with the finest ingredients and prepare them in ways that highlight their natural qualities, you’ll get outstanding results. With this easy-to-follow collection of recipes you’ll be churning out delicious fruit desserts year round.
Battle the transitional temperatures of spring with strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake, raspberry gratin, gingered rhubarb crisp or an apricot-pistachio tart.
They’ll be no suffering in the summer heat with little plum galettes, blueberry-cream cheese custard pie, black forest cake with fresh cherries, plum buckle or sour cherry pie.
The arrival of fall may leave you pining for vacation days but with the help of roasted grape tarlets, quince tea cake, fresh fig galette, pumpkin-ginger cheesecake and pear-walnut sticky cake you won’t be pining for long.
Winter's chill won’t leave slim pickings with options like cranberry-pecan pie, pineapple upside-down skillet cake, pumpkin moon pies with orange cream and chocolate-banana bread pudding.
For the Crust 2 cups (7 oz/220 g) graham cracker pieces, crushed with a food processor or rolling pin 2 tablespoons sugar Pinch of salt 1⁄2 cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling 1⁄2 lb (250 g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 1⁄2 cup (4 oz/125 g) sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1⁄2 lb (250 g) fresh blueberries (about 2 cups) 11⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
*Makes 8 servings,
1 Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Have ready a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan.
2 To make the crust, in a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until blended. Pat the crumb mixture evenly into the pan and up the sides. Bake until slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.
3 To make the filling, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 1 ⁄4 cup (3 oz/90 g) of the sugar, and the vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly blended and smooth, 3–5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until well blended. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
4 Bake until the custard is just set, 25–30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
5 Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the blueberries, 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) water, and the remaining 1 ⁄4 cup (3 oz/90 g) sugar. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring once, until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Return to medium high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool until lukewarm, about 30 minutes.
6 Spoon the berries over the custard. Refrigerate the pie for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours before serving.