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Light summertime flavors?

It's finally, finally summer and I just want to bake something to celebrate it! The problem is, I can't think of any flavors that aren't too rich (like chocolate, coffee...) or overpowering or too common-seen (like vanilla , I mean, I love vanilla but sometimes I just get a bit bored) and I can only think of lemon (citrus, actually) and strawberries which I have used countless times these last few weeks so any more ideas for more flavors? Preferably some cupcakes or tarts or pies...and I'm looking for some light, refreshing flavors that people can actually eat more than one slice or piece of! Thanks so much, looking forward to your suggestions!

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  1. Maybe take some inspiration from the rhubarb thread.

    How about a summers fruit tart? Keep the crust thin and flaky and layer it with a variety of berries and a blob of whipped cream.

    1. I actually prefer baking in the spring and summer rather than in cooler weather. I like the lighter flavors. I am not a heavy winter baker anymore and I get bored with the same flavors you listed too!

      I use certain flavor combo's for warmer weather, favorites are orange and rosemary or orange and mint, lemon and lavender, or lemonade and basil are really wonderful combinations. I sometimes Just use a tiny bit of rose water ( with some almond or vanilla) classic with pistachio - or just orange blossom water alone. Especially good in a very light/flat cake with a simple whipped cream on top....everyone always wants more than one piece!

      I am also a big tart fan -all kinds, light or no sugar. I like figs and citrus, cheese tarts ( ricotta, goat, cream cheese) more like flatter cheesecakes actually...tomato tarts or tomato jam on them (where the tomato is truely a fruit!). Pear and ginger tarts are wonderful, as are raspberry or blackberry pies or tarts with almond flour crusts. I like to flavor whipped cream when serving a simple plain fruit tart to be different with a few drops of orange blossom water or make a fruit coulis with a liqueur (like limoncello) to kick it up.

      Hope this inspires you in some way! Happy summer baking!

      1. I second rhubarb for spring. Had a friend who made a great rhubarb meringue pie. Also try pairing rhubarb with raspberries instead of the more common strawberries.

        1. Dorie Greenspan's orange almond tart is AMAZING... you can use orange, raspberries, anything with a little zing, actually, and it turns out incredible. Not too sweet, and well worth the effort. Whatever fruit you do use, don't press it into the almond cream, it will puff up around it while it bakes.


          1. Well with no chocolate, no vanilla, no citrus, and no berries you've really trimmed back on the summer time fun in my book.

            But I'll put a few things out there anyway . . . .

            Lemon and white chocolate - love the combination (but it includes all of the "no" items) - layer white chocolate mousse, lemon mousse, and berries - wonderful

            Hibiscus - great tart flowery flavor

            Tea - you can infuse tea flavors into lots of desserts for an interesting twist (infuse into milk or butter or use a strong tea in place of vanilla)

            Fruit - mango, melon, apple - tarts, compotes, cakes, pies... Gelato, ice cream, puddings

            I love pastry cream in the summer - simple tart crust, thin layer of pastry cream, topped with all sorts of summer fruit and berries (I know, very pedestrian but so tasty)

            1. Herbs are bountiful in the summertime and this is the perfect time to experiment with your rosemary, lemon thyme, pandan, lemon verbena, etc. Summer flowers also lend themselves to sweets, particularly jasmine, roses, lavender and violets.

              Tomatoes at their peak can also have a sweet quality that would lend itself equally to a savory tart or a sweet cupcake.

              1. How about a rustic green apple tart, the kind where you use no tart pan. See Ina Garten's recipe.

                Bananna bread or cupcakes always feels springtime-ish for some reason.

                1. peach ice cream! peach shortcakes! i know ice cream isn't baking, but....you know what i mean.

                  1. Some of my fave summer flavors are blueberry and peach. When peaches are in season where you are, make Peach Melba!

                    I guess if I was going to bake some sort of lighter flavored bakery product, I'd try to replicate the Dreamsicle flavor--orange and vanilla. I've always loved that combo. How about a mellow vanilla cake topped with orange flavored frosting?

                    1. Mangoes and peaches are always good. Both go good with "cream" type fillings/icings.

                      Lavender is always summery to me too. I remember a heavenly lavender mascarpone ice cream from a Princeton ice cream shop...

                      1. It's not quite summer though I would've sworn from last week that it was.

                        I don't do a whole lot of desserts but one I did concoct was a mango mousse with a lemon miroir and topped with finger lime caviar.

                        1. You could do worse than take some inspiration from here:


                          The "Cassis Pomme" is a particular favourite in my household.

                          1. Panna cotta or trifle or clafoutis all seem summery to me, and I like the way that with very little adaptation they all work with the parade of fruits as they come "in season." I am looking forward to cherry season.

                            1. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pe... - try this recipe for peach lavender cobbler - it has both the taste and the scent of summer