No-Fuss summer desserts
In partnership with our friends from Maple Hill
All our favorite summer desserts have one important thing in common: they can be made without turning on the oven. No matter how much we love the idea of summer fruit baked in pies and shoemaking, preheating the oven to 375 ° F when it approaches three-digit weather outside interrupts work. We’ll leave those baked treats for fall and winter.
The best summer desserts are cold and refreshing, whether frozen, chilled or mixed with ice and frozen fruit. And reckless – do you want to do something with seventeen steps when you’re already sweating?
One treat to which we return again and again is a trifle. The traditional English delicacy often served on Christmas may not sound like the epitome of summer lightness, but the case is strong: the little thing is basically just cream, cake, fruit and whipped cream, nicely layered and left to cool so all flavors and textures are merge – somehow becoming more than the sum of its parts in the process. It’s a simple formula that’s easy to play with.
Making homemade cream (or cream paste) can be a task involved. Instant pudding works well and is convenient, but is sweet in pain. Our move is to rely on our old friend chia seeds. Chia pudding is as simple as instant pudding, and we managed to make it feel more dessert using high quality milk. That’s why we love New organic milk Maple Hill Zero Sugar. It is whole milk, so chia pudding gives a rich and decadent texture to a traditional cream. And it’s ultrafiltered to remove all the sugar so you can control the sweetness of your trifle (sometimes we add a little maple syrup or coconut sugar, but usually fruits and cakes give enough sweetness).
To make the pudding a little tastier, we enrich the milk with frozen fruit before combining it with chia seeds. Just freeze the frozen fruit and milk in a strong blender and it adds an intense flavor and color without diluting the pudding. So much frozen fruit is available. We like to combine our frozen and fresh fruits – so if we’re going to layer fresh strawberries, we’ll use freeze-dried strawberries for milk. But you can certainly mix that up.
We love the classic whipped cream made from scratch, and we usually add a little vanilla. You can sweeten it, and if you are not cooking for children, you can also add a drop of aromatic liqueur – cassia, framboaz, Calvados or brandy.
You can go any way here. They work all kinds of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mulberries), pitted cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, bananas, even supremed oranges. For simplicity, we use the fruit as it is, but you could macerate it by adding a little maple syrup or coconut sugar, and you could use that as an opportunity to introduce some extra flavors. Almond extract, lemon zest, cardamom, vanilla or even a touch of rose water could add an extra dimension.
How to put together your little thing
It is flexible, adaptable and very forgiving.
1Chia pudding should be put in the fridge a bit, so start here: To make fortified milk, combine about ½ cup of frozen fruit with about 1½ cup of milk (we love organic Maple Hill Zero Sugar milk) in a blender and blitz until smooth. Combine the fruit milk with about ¼ cup of chia seeds and whisk well to combine. Taste, and if you want a little sweeter, add a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar. Let stand in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, until thickened.
2Cut fresh fruit. If you want to cover a mile and macerate it with some of the above delicious elements, now is the time.
4Make whipped cream. Just add heavy whipped cream to our permanent mixer and beat on high heat until soft peaks appear, then reduce the mixer speed to low and lightly beat in a drop of vanilla.
Put the little thing together
1Add a layer of cake or cookie to the bottom of the pan (jam down, if using).
2Add a layer of chia pudding.
3Add a layer of fruit.
4Add a layer of whipped cream.
5Repeat the process until you fill the bowl, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Then pour over a few pieces of fruit for decoration. Adding something crunchy – like toasted coconut, sliced almonds or cocoa buns – to the top is another nice addition, though again completely optional.
6Leave the trifle to cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.
Another cool treat
A worthwhile summer project: go through every dessert on our list.
For the front porch, rear deck, by the pool …
Blue Majik Lychee Boba refrigerator
A dream come true if you like beans, slushi or current superfoods. The sweet, tropical taste of lychee is the perfect foil for blue-green algae rich in nutrients – albeit with a swampy taste.
Kombucha float with cherries and whipped cream
A soda-free buoy that is just as much fun as the original. The whipped cream and cherries on top give it an old-school vibe.
Ever so gently crossing the line between rich and bright.
Meyer Lemon Eton Mess
Eton mess is a classic English dessert made of whipped cream, crushed meringue and berries. For our version, we fold the homemade lemon curd into a cream for extra flavor, and for easier use we use meringue from the store. It’s heavenly.
If you don’t have some kind of frozen banana candy, is it summer too?
Salty date cream and peanut butter
The combination of peanut butter and banana is obvious, but the addition of chewing dates and flaky salt takes this to the next level.
The lover in your life
Mandatory chocolate moment.