3 Elegant, Easy Summer Fruit Dessert Recipes

Mixed berry cobbler with ice-cold whipped cream is my all-time favorite summer dessert. I’ve been making some version of this fruit-forward, tender-topped, not-too-sweet treat for decades. Sometimes I double the recipe; leftovers disappear quickly.

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The cobbler crust that follows, flavored with sweet butter, orange rind and nutty whole wheat flour, is super easy to make, especially when compared to pie crust. Reminiscent of a great biscuit, with light, flaky layers and a crunchy sugary top, the cobbler crust contrasts beautifully with the hidden goodness of soft fruit.

As written, this cobbler calls for blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, but you have choices when it comes to the fruit layer. After a day of berry picking I like to make this recipe with just blueberries — a terrifically easy alternative to blueberry pie. When the strawberries are small and local, an all-strawberry version tastes like the best of summer. Employing a combination of seasonal farmers market berries, meanwhile, creates a sophisticated, less sweet dessert.

I strongly advise stocking heavy cream and mascarpone during berry and peach season. Thus armed, you can whip up an indulgent dessert at a moment’s notice. Adding a bit of mascarpone cheese or crème fraiche to softly whipped heavy cream adds tang and helps stabilize the mixture. The combination will stay fluffy for hours in a refrigerator or packed in a cooler of ice.

Layer the whipped cream concoction with nectarines and berries for an impressive dessert sans pastry skills.

When the kitchen is cool, I like to make the lemon wafer cookies from the latest edition of “The Joy of Cooking” to use in the parfaits. Or use the best buttery store-bought cookies to add to the layers; they’ll soften slightly and add a delicate texture to the parfaits. Serve extra cookies, still in their crisp state, alongside.

If no-cook recipes are more your summertime speed, granita, a frozen dessert made with fresh fruit and ice, ranks as the most refreshing of all summer fruit desserts. I purchase cherries when they’re in season and pit them before freezing. The cherries only need to be briefly thawed for the recipe that follows. Serve the ice in small dishes with a splash of prosecco or sparkling wine.

Mixed Berry Cobbler With Mascarpone and Lemon Cream

Cobbler is all the joy of pie without the labor involved in making pie crust. A true celebration of summer berries, this delightful dessert would be a great dish to bring to a cookout or party.

For the Mixed Berry Cobbler With Mascarpone and Lemon Cream recipe, click here.

Nectarine and Berry Parfaits

If parfait makes you think of a fun way to get kids to eat their yogurt, then this delightful dessert version will have you reconsidering the possibilities of layered dishes like this. What really and truly sets this apart from other parfaits is the lemon mascarpone whipped cream, which you’ll want to serve with every amazing dessert recipe you try at home this summer.

For the Nectarine and Berry Parfaits recipe, click here.

Frozen Sweet and Sour Cherry Granita

Honestly, it’s hard to believe that granitas don’t get more hype; they are basically the perfect summer dessert. Besides being sweet and cold —key for a summer treat — this double cherry granita is no-cook, gluten-free, vegan and requires only 15 minutes of hands-on time. What’s not to love?

For the Frozen Sweet and Sour Cherry Granita recipe, click here.

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