Celebrate holiday with fresh fruit desserts
Perfect seasonal fruit can be topped with biscuits or grilled for an easy dessert.
MIXED BERRY COBBLER WITH ORANGE-SCENTED BISCUITS
Serves 8 to 12
Perfect seasonal fruit is complemented by a simple topping that comes together in just a couple of minutes. It’s basically just a cream biscuit dough that you drop by large spoonfuls on top of the fruit before baking. If you’ve got great berries, flavor the dough with orange zest or slivered basil. If you’ve got peaches or nectarines, maybe chop in almonds or minced fresh ginger. You get the picture.
1½ cups flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons orange zest
¼ cup butter, cold and cubed, plus more for buttering dish
2/3 cup heavy cream
1½ pounds blackberries and raspberries
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons orange juice
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch-square baking dish.
2. In a food processor bowl, pulse together the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse together just until the mixture has the texture of lightly moistened cornmeal. There may be a few pea-sized chunks of butter remaining; that’s fine.
3. Pour over heavy cream and then pulse four to six times just to moisten the dough. Do not overmix or the dough will be tough.
4. In a bowl, toss together the blackberries, raspberries, one-fourth cup sugar and cornstarch to coat lightly. Add the orange juice and stir gently to moisten.
5. Spoon the fruit into the prepared baking dish and then use 2 spoons to scatter generous 1- to 2-tablespoon clumps of the dough over the top, covering the berries nearly completely. Bake until the topping is puffed and golden and the berries have turned jammy and fragrant, about 45 minutes.
— Adapted by the Los Angeles Times
RASPBERRY APRICOT BARS
Makes 24 bars
Making pie can be scary. It takes practice to get the fruit to set neither runny nor gummy and the pastry to bake up both flaky and reliable. This might be why the fruit bar is such a pleasure. It’s like pie, but simpler, smaller and sturdier. Plus the low-lying bar has an admirable outer-to-inner ratio: about 1:1.
2 cups raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups cubed apricots (about 6 apricots)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
1. To make middle, sprinkle raspberries with sugar. Mash with a fork (don’t worry if raspberries are reduced to slush). Stir in apricots. Set aside.
2. To make top, melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add pecans, salt and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until butter is speckled brown, about five minutes. Pull pan off heat. Stir in sugar, then flour. Chill.
3. To make bottom, measure flour, sugar and salt into the food processor. Buzz once to mix. Add butter and pulse to big clumps.
4. Butter a 13x9x2 baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving some overhang. Dump in clumps. Pat pastry across bottom of pan. Poke several times with a fork. Slide into the lower third of a 375-degree oven and bake until pastry is lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
5. Spread fruit over pastry. Sprinkle on chilled top — fruit will not be fully covered. Return pan to oven and bake until fruit is bubbly and top is browned, about 40 minutes. Cool completely. Grasp the parchment overhang and lift out the whole contraption; slice into 24 bars.
— Adapted by the Chicago Tribune
GRILLED PEACHES, BERRIES AND CREAM
It’s July Fourth and the grill is roaring for all those burgers and hot dogs your crowd is hankering for. But there’s no need to step away from the flames for the meal’s sweet finish. Here’s an easy grilled dessert that is simple and takes just minutes to cook and assemble.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
6 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
4 peaches, halved and pitted
1 pint raspberries
2 tablespoons lime juice
1. Heat the grill to medium.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar until it holds medium peaks, about two to four minutes. Gently fold in the yogurt, then set aside.
3. Using a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs, oil the grill grates. Grill the peaches, cut sides down, for three to four minutes, or until charred and tender.
4. While the peaches grill, in a small bowl stir together the raspberries, lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
5. Arrange each peach half on a serving plate. Top each with a spoonful of the berries and a dollop of the yogurt cream.
— Alison Ladman, The Associated Press