This past weekend, I went food shopping and was amazed by how good the fruit looked and tasted (I only grabbed a few grapes to make sure they were sweet J). The prices were down and the plumpness of the fruit was so inviting that I scrambled to pick up a cartful to bring home. I started to think, as I ate a handful of grapes (at home), what else I could do with my choices other than eat them individually or make a typical fruit salad. Here are some ideas that can enhance the taste of these fresh fruit picks (and one carrot recipe too) and start the spring off with a touch of sweetness.
Apple Slab Tart
(courtesy of BakingBites.com)
This tart is great for brunch or for dessert. It is good served both warm and at room temperature, and the leftovers keep well. For brunch, dust it with confectioners’ sugar before serving. For dessert, drizzle it with a little caramel sauce or place a small scoop of ice cream on the side of each slice.
- 1-1/3 cups + 1 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into several pieces
- 4-5 tbsp water, cold
- 2 medium apples
- 4 tbsp sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/3 cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and toss to coat. Rub butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips, breaking the butter into pieces no larger than a big pea. This can also be done in the food processor. Add cold water and stir until dough comes together. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and core apple(s). Slice into very thin slices about 1/4-inch thick. Toss with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp flour. Set aside.
- Roll out chilled pastry dough into a square approx 11×11-inches (slightly larger or smaller is ok) on a very lightly floured surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Arrange apple slices down the middle third of the pastry, forming a layer that is 2-3 apple slices thick. Leave a 1/2-inch border at the top and bottom of the tart.
- Fold up the bottom and top borders of the tart, just to cover the edges of the apples. Fold in the sides of the tart over the apples, leaving a 1 – 2 inch gap down the center of the apple layer. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over the apples Brush tart crust with cream or water and top the whole thing with remaining 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp sliced almonds.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until tart is golden brown and apples are tender. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Creamy Lemon Dessert with Fresh Grapes
(courtesy of kraftrecipes.comkraftrecipes.com)
- 2-1/2 cups boiling water, divided
- 4 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin, divided
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
- ADD 1-1/2 cups boiling water to 2 pkg. gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 6-cup mold or 1-1/2-qt. bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate 5 min. or until gelatin is slightly set but not firm. Top with grapes; press gently into gelatin. Refrigerate 20 min.
- MEANWHILE, add remaining boiling water to remaining 2 pkg. gelatin mix ; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into blender. Add condensed milk and sour cream; blend well. Pour over fruit.
- REFRIGERATE 2 hours or until firm. Unmold.
Kraft kitchens tips
JELL-O PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN DESSERT
- Prepare as directed, using JELL-O Pineapple Flavor Gelatin and substituting drained canned pineapple chunks for the grapes. For extra flavor, substitute drained pineapple liquid for some of the boiling water.
HOW TO LAYER GELATIN
- Pour first layer of prepared gelatin into serving dish or mold. Refrigerate until set, but not firm, before adding the next layer. Except for the first layer, the gelatin mixtures should be cool and slightly thickened before pouring over the chilled layers.
HOW TO UNMOLD GELATIN
- Allow gelatin to sit several hours or overnight until completely firm. Before unmolding, dip knife in warm water, then run blade of knife around edge of gelatin to loosen. Dip mold in warm water, just to rim, for 15 sec. Lift from water and gently pull gelatin from edge of mold with moistened fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate and shake to loosen gelatin. Gently remove mold.
Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
(courtesy of relish.com)
- 4 cups medium strawberries hulled and quartered
- cup freshly sliced peaches
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- tablespoon cornstarch
- tablespoon fresh lime juice
- cup all-purpose flour
- tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- To prepare the filling, combine strawberries and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Spoon strawberry mixture into a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate or 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- To prepare the biscuit topping, combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, working with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in buttermilk. Drop dough by tablespoons over strawberry mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
- Bake 25 minutes or until strawberry mixture is bubbly and biscuits are browned.
Crunchy Bananas with Yogurt
(courtesy of Kelloggshopsmart.com)
This lovely dessert features fresh bananas steeped in a rich sauce made of brown-sugar and orange juice. All-Bran® cereal adds crunch, while Greek yogurt adds just the right zing. Serve it with scoop of French vanilla ice cream for a fresh take on Bananas Foster.
- 4 large ripe bananas, peeled
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange juice
- 2 cups Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Complete® Wheat Flakes cereal, crushed to 1 cup
- 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 8 teaspoons honey
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly coat shallow, 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Slice bananas in half. Then slice each half in half again lengthwise.
- In medium saucepan over medium high heat, place brown sugar, butter and orange juice. Melt together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and gently place bananas in mixture, stirring lightly until all bananas are covered. Allow bananas to soak in mixture as it cools, approximately 5 minutes.
- Place KELLOGG’S ALL-BRAN COMPLETE WHEAT FLAKES cereal in a shallow dish. Remove bananas from mixture and roll in cereal until completely coated. Place bananas in single layer in prepared baking dish.
- Bake 10-15 minutes or until bananas are fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.
- To serve place 2 banana slices on an individual serving plate. Top with 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey over yogurt. Repeat with remaining bananas, yogurt and honey.
Fresh Blueberry Dessert Bruschetta
(courtesy of recipegirl.com)
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- ½ (17.3-ounce) package Puff Pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
- 2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons whipping cream + more, as needed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
- small fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
- Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Starting at a long side, roll up like a jelly roll. Press the seam to seal. Cut pastry roll into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto 2 baking sheets.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Gently flatten the hot pastries with a spatula. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks.
- In a medium bowl, use electric mixer to combine cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Add whipping cream to thin out the mixture. Mix until creamy and well-combined. Add additional whipping cream, if needed, to create a spreadable consistency.
- Assemble dessert bites: Spread a Tablespoon of the sweetened cream cheese mixture onto each of the baked puff pastry rounds. Top with fresh blueberries. Garnish with mint, if desired. Serve immediately.
Raspberry Dessert Bites
(courtesy of madewithpink.com)
- 2 Cups Fresh Raspberries, washed
- Lemond Curd, homemade or store bought – it doesn’t matter!
No Bake Cheesecake Filling:
- 8oz Cream Cheese (don’t use light, as it won’t work the same)
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Granulated / Castor Sugar
- ¼ cup Whipping Cream or Double Cream
- ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
- Wash your raspberries and set aside. In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until nice and smooth.
- Whip the cream, and then fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture so it’s fully combined. Fold gently though – you don’t want to loose all the air in the cream!
- Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to firm up.
- Fill two piping bags fitted with small star tips with your fillings – 1 with lemon curd and the other with the cheesecake mixture (note: if you don’t have any piping tips or bags you can put each filling into a plastic zip lock bag and snip the tips off of them). One by one, take each raspberry and carefully fill each one with either the cheesecake or lemon filling making sure not to squeeze the raspberries too much or they’ll go to mush! Fill them all, and then snack away!
Honey-Mint Cantaloupe Kabobs
(courtesy of babycenter.combabycenter.com)
- 1 medium cantaloupe
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (less mint?)
- Preheat grill for medium heat.
- Thread the cantaloupe chunks onto 4 skewers. In a small fireproof saucepan, heat butter and honey on the grill until melted. Stir in mint. Brush cantaloupe with honey mixture.
- Lightly oil grate. Place skewers on heated grill. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning to cook all sides. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.
Mini Carrot Cake Tortes Recipe
(courtesy of tasteofhome.com)
- 2 English Breakfast or other black tea bags
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Toasted chopped walnuts, optional
- Place tea bags in a small bowl; add boiling water. Cover and steep for 3-5 minutes. Discard tea bags; set tea aside. Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, tea, honey, syrup and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and cloves; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in the carrots, walnuts and raisins. Transfer to prepared pan (pan will be full).
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan and discard paper.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
- Using a metal 3-in. round cutter, cut 15 circles from cake. Cut each circle in half horizontally; place cake bottoms on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pipe frosting over each. Top with remaining cake layers and frosting; sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 15 mini tortes.