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Simple, Impressive, Quick Desserts

  • j

I am having people over Friday night and don't have a lot of time to make a dessert. Something I could do ahead or that involves summer fruits would be nice. I had thought about the lemon olive oil cake from Epicurious with some berries and whipped cream. Any Ideas?

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    1. How about this with a little vanilla bean ice cream:


      1. These look good and are quick; plus, it's peach season now. This was originally a Penzey's recipe, and the comments are theirs.


        2 Cups sliced ripe peaches (5 large to 8 small)
        2 tsp. cinnamon sugar (I use regular sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon)
        2-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
        1-1/2 Cups powdered sugar
        2 sticks butter, cold
        1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
        1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
        1 egg
        2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

        Preheat oven to 350°.
        Peel and pit the peaches, slice thinly or chop and toss with CINNAMON SUGAR, set aside.
        In a large bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar.
        Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly and rather dry. If you don’t mind a little mess, it is easier to do this with your hands.
        Reserve 2 Cups of the mixture for the topping.
        Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of an ungreased, 9x13 pan (we prefer glass).
        Bake the crust for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
        Gradually beat in the condensed milk until smooth. Add the egg and VANILLA. Mix well.
        After the crust has baked for 15 minutes, remove from oven and carefully smooth the peaches over the crust in an even layer. Drizzle with any peach juice that is in the bowl.
        Pour the cream cheese mixture over the peaches.
        Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top of the cream cheese filling.
        Bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown on the top. It is easiest to cut the bars if they have been chilled for awhile, but they are incredibly delicious warm. If there are any leftovers, store in the refrigerator.
        Prep. time: 10 minutes
        Baking time: 45-50 minutes
        Yield: about 20 bars

        1. Perhaps this one is too easy and quick but I often do make-your-own-sundaes and everyone love the activity and the results. I'd make a fruit salad (I add limoncello liquor to mine), get good vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream and then have lots of toppings (M&Ms, cut up brownies, sprinkles, nuts, raisins, whipped cream, chocolate sauce etc., etc., etc.) The easiest and best company dessert!

          1. Oh, go for strawberries macerated in balsamic- top it off with mascarpone- one of my favorites! Another easy great dessert that always works is a berry trifle! Short cut with a bought angel food cake (just prepare it in the morning real quick & it will set all day in the fridge).

            1. I was served this plum cake this past weekend, apparently it's very well known (a NYTimes staple). It was so easy, pretty and uses summer fruit. My friend used larger plums and had three rows of three halves.


              3 Replies
              1. re: KeriT

                Thank you - this was exactly what I was thinking about. I think there is a pretty large thread on this recipe from a few years ago - I seem to remember it being very popular. Has anyone used any other fruits in this recipe?

                1. re: jmax

                  Oh good. The link I put in was bad apparently, if you can't find it I found it doing a search for NY Time plum torte

                  1. re: jmax

                    Excellent with peaches (peeled) or pluots (unpeeled).

                2. There was a recipe in the August Bon Appetit for Santa Rosa Plum Compote that I thought sounded amazing. It can be made a couple days in advance. Tis the season for plums too. They suggest serving it over vanilla ice cream.

                  2 lbs. Santa Rosa red plums, quartered
                  1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
                  2 cinnamon sticks
                  1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

                  Combine, plums and pits, 1 cup sugar & cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add both seeds & bean. Stir over low heat until compote thickens, about 45 mins. You can add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar if you like it sweeter. Let cool. Remove pits and vanilla bean and chill. Serve over ice cream.

                  1. 3 parts Strawberry jello, 1 part vanilla ice cream, just a tad of vanilla bean.
                    Prepare jello as usual and, when set, blend with ice cream and vanilla bean in blender.
                    Pour into serving glasses, return to refrigerator to re-set and serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream, sliced fresh strawberries and a sprig of mint.
                    Cool, refreshing, easy ...

                    1. I love this super-easy recipe that I got from Williams-Sonoma for a fruit sauce/dip:

                      Heat a pint of heavy cream on a stove until small bubbles start appearing around the edge, but before it reaches a full boil. Pour into a (glass) blender, over a 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Add a couple teaspoons of lime zest and blend until zest is evenly distributed. Allow to cool or (better) refrigerate until needed and then allow to return completely to room temperature. Serve with peaches, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and other fresh fruit.