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Fruit dessert ideas

I love fruits desserts/snacks, and I am looking to expand beyond parfaits and baked apples. I want to use fruits as the main base, not merely decoration.
I actually want to get the book Sweet Simplicity: Jacques Pepin's Fruit Desserts, but the book seems to be no longer in print, and the ones available sell for like $300. (grr....why does this always happen?)
So I was wondering, does this wonderful board has suggestions for another book, or do people have ideas from their own head? If so, please share :-)

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  1. I like crumbles with more fruit and less topping.

    Or how about a fool? Fruit purée mixed with whipped cream or topping.

    Scalloped fruit - fruit slices baked with a little custard.

    Cherries jubilee.

    1. I love roasted stone fruit--half the fruit, remove the pit, and put it on the grill. While still hot, drizzle with honey. Delicious served with ricotta, yogurt or ice cream.

      1. Sir Gawain posted a yummy fruit torte/cake as did another regular poster whose name is suddenly, completely lost to me. If you search under Gawain fruit cake you'll probably find it. They're both very similar to the marian Burros plum torte recipe. Anyway, all of these cakes can be made with any fruit, and the fruit is FAR more than decoration.

        I've seen in bookstores, but have never cooked from, the Chez Panisse Fruit book. It might be worth seeing if you can check it out of your local library system and see if it's what you want. My guess is that they're not all desserts, but it sounds like that might be just fine with you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Smokey

          I have CP Fruit and would recommend CP Desserts over it. There are a lot of seasonal fruit recipes in it. I've made a couple and recommend the book highly. David Lebovitz (a CP alum) also has a good dessert book Ripe for Dessert which has lots of fruit recipes. I made his Concord grape pie which was a big winner in our household. And his marjolaine and several others I liked a lot.

          My favorite desserts involve fruit but usually in the form of ice cream or gelato in summer and pie or other pastry in winter.

        2. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has some very good fruit desserts, including poached pears (I always forget how good they are -- by themselves, with an almond torte, in a tart!), fruit compote (w/ cake, natch, love that almond torte!), fruit crisps (my fave), and don't forget pies!
          Deborah Madison's desserts are very do-able, flexible, and much less complicated than oh, Ripe for Dessert or the Last course.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NYchowcook

            A hearty second to all things in DM's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone! If you want simple recipes to make quality ingredients shine, this is a great book for desserts or anythning else.

          2. There's nothing so simple or delicious as a fruit crisp. I never even use a recipe.

            Use whatever fruit is in season, and toss with a little sugar, flour, and whatever spices you think are appropriate. Pour into a buttered casserole. Top with a mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, and spices, with butter cut in. Bake at 350-375°F until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is nicely browned.

            Divine served warm with any dairy you like: crème fraîche, heavy cream, ice cream, mascarpone, etc.

            The suggestions for grilled stone fruit and poached fruit are also excellent ideas.

            1. Zabaglione in Italian or Sabayon in French is a simple and incredibly delicious warm custard desert made with marsala wine and served with fresh figs or berries. I was first introduced to it at the incredible Spiaggia restaurant in Chicago...I was hooked instantly. It's originally from Venice. I've made it with other sweet wines as well. Also delicious with fresh lemon juice if you prefer a non-alcoholic desert. I prefer less sugar than the recipe calls for, so experiment with it to your liking.


              Serves: 6

              I N G R E D I E N T S
              8 large egg yolks
              1 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
              1/2 cup of dry Marsala (or Sherry)

              I N S T R U C T I O N S
              Place the egg yolks and the sugar in top of a double boiler and place on top of the bottom of the boiler. The water should be lightly boiling and the should not be touching the bottom of the top of the boiler. (You can also use a bowl over a large pot of boiling water. )

              Use a wire whisk and whip the mixture until it is foamy. Then add the Marsala and continue to cook the mixture until it has doubled in volume Use an instant-read thermometer to insure the mixture has reached 140°F. Beat the mixture for additional minute or two.

              Serve the zabaglione immediately. This dish looks quite elegant served in long stemmed wine or parfait glasses.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amoncada

                I was scrolling through the posts, hoping somebody would mention zabaglione, and you didn't disappoint! This is my go-to dessert when people drop by unexpectedly.

                I don't use powdered sugar for my zabaglione, but I do make it in a double boiler (really a metal or Pyrex-glass bowl set over barely-simmering water).

                If you don't have the thermometre, you can pull the zabaglione when it's just barely nappé (which, for anyone who doesn't know fancy French pastry-chef terms, means that when you dip a spoon in and run your finger across the back of the spoon, the "gash" stays without the custard running back together).

                One of the best desserts in the world is peeled whole fresh pears simmered in simple syrup (that's water and sugar in equal volumes boiled together until the sugar dissolves), maybe with the end of a nutmeg if you have one lying around that's past the point of being grindable... simmer it until you can insert a knife cleanly into it.

                Then set it into a dish and dribble zabaglione over it, and then a sauce made from dark chocolate melted with a bit of oil and a bit of cream... no extra sugar.

              2. I like to make a fruit flan: a sweet pie crust base containing pastry cream and topped with a variety of fruit. I like to glaze the fruit with melted Champagne jelly.