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Recipe for fruity dessert for 25?

I need to make a dessert or two for a baby shower for about 25 people. Since fresh fruit is in season, I feel the need to use it! I was thinking of tarts and such (like a yummy blueberry buttermilk tart), but they don't feed many people, and carrying three tarts on the bus to work doesn't sound like fun.
Does anyone have a recipe that's good (tested!), travels well, can be made ahead (preferably the night before), and includes fresh fruit?
Seems like a tall challenge, but I could be the challenged one.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. What about various fruit/berry crumbles or crisps (I can never remember which is which)? You can make them in casserole dishes, which stack/travel fairly well (especially if you have the ones with the snazzy snap on plastic lids a la tupperware).

    1. Here's a link to my local newspaper article yesterday which tried to showcase the local fresh fruits for desert.


      1. Are you going to have any time to put things together. A big hit for me at baby showers has been individual trifles. You can transport the layers separately, and then assemble (very fast) before hand. If you do this, you may want to soak the cake. Of course, come to think of it, you can always do one big trifle that would travel well and is best if allowed to sit. I have done blueberry and gingerbread trifles, lemon cake with strawberry, coconut with peaches would be great, anything you like together and that is super fresh where you are. And trifles are pretty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jsaimd

          Have never made a trifle, and don't have a trifle dish. What else could it be served in? I would guess how many it serves depends on the size of the dish, but do you have an estimate as to what size serves what number? I love the combinations that you suggested.

          I make crisps all the time for pot lucks - they are the best, most versatile dish. My only hesitation is that it just doesn't seem special, or different enough. Not that pretty either. I have been making a blueberry rhubarb crisp with hazelnut topping (showcases our local Oregon specialties) which goes over incredibly well!

        2. Scroll down to the Block Party thread from several days ago. The fruit salad I made and composed on site for a post wedding brunch from assorted zip lock type bags was a winner. It was simply cherries, pitted and halved, blueberries,topped and quartered straberries, all in one bag. Then I (gasp....really did this) bought 2 bags each Kroger Private Selection mangoes, peaches and pineapple which I defrosted and drained...that fruit was dead ripe, then layered in a crystal bowl red fruit, chopped mint, yellow fruit, mint, red frut etc. and dressed the whole with a simple syrup heavily infused with freshly grated ginger. Everythihg goes to the party in it's own bag and is assembled and dressed on sight. Drop dead shopping bag easy. Just add some cold packs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Candy

            P.S. I made the recipe from Epicurious for Gingered Shortbread for those who needed a cookie. I just cut them into squares

          2. you could just do a fondue type thing. bring in a bunch of cut up fruit, marshmallows & pound cake (could even skewer it for presentation)and have a few different types of fruit dips.

            other idea would be a fresh fruit trifle- very good & easy to travel.

            1. For the trifle you can put it in any glass bowl/dish. If you have a glass salad bowl that works. We have a giant martini glass we use a lot, but not sure it would serve 25. It makes for a fun presentation. Anything glass works great. Trifles are super easy to make, make your cake you would like, your fruit (if you want it cooked, otherwise you can dress it in simple syrup, depending on the flavor you want), and then your cream if you want that. For instance, if I were making a peach one based on my whims today, I would make a coconut or plain cake, a raspberry thick custard using at least some coconut milk instead of cow's milk/cream, and fresh peaches dressed in a simple syrup.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jsaimd

                i use the plastic bowl from my salad spinner for trifles.

                1. re: rebs

                  About how many people does that size bowl feed, do you think?

              2. A really great and easy fruit dessert is:

                I buy pound or sponge cakes in the store bakery. In a bowl I mix 2 Pkgs. french vanilla instant pudding with 2 cups of whole milk, and 2 cups of sour cream. I add 2 cups cleaned, and cut fresh strawberries. Scoop goop over piece of cake. I sometimes tear cake into chunks, put in bowl, add goop. It is a wonderful, tasty dessert. If you are doing this for 25 just triple or more the recipe. Also, make goop early the day of the party, as sometimes it gets a bit runny the day after.

                1. I remember seeing a huuuuge berry tart on Jacques Pepin's cooking show a few years ago - it was gorgeous and probably fed 25 as it was made in a sheet baking pan. I think it was from his Entertaining/Holidays book for fourth of July.

                  1. I think I have decided to make Fudgy Chocolate-Raspberry Bars from the Epicurious website. Here's a link, in case anyone is interested. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                    Satisfies the fresh fruit criteria, the travels-well criteria, and it's chocolate to boot!