Five Easy Fresh Fruit Summer Treats

  • Posted: 7/15/15

Written by Angela Ferrante, Summer Intern
Fordham graduate and New York City girl.  I plan to use my degree in journalism and love of all things edible to become a food writer. 

Summer in the Northeast is a thing of wonder.  It is pretty hard to believe that just six months ago, many farmers’ markets were a virtual ghost town, with nothing but a few apples and root vegetables to offer bundled-up shoppers.  Now, the stalls are overflowing with ripe peaches, firm blueberries, sweet strawberries, and almost every other fruit and vegetable you can think of.  I can’t help but get excited when I see the first crop of cherries or raspberries!  I love eating fruit plain, but every once in a while I like to mix things up and use the season’s best crops in cooked dishes.  In cakes, pies, or just plain roasted; we here at Crafty Baking will show you the greatest ways to use farm-fresh produce in your food.
 

1. Oven Roasted Stone Fruit 

You don’t need to be a rock star in the kitchen to wow your friends and family.  Totally easy, vegan, and gluten-free, this recipe is an all-around winner!  Roasted fruit is delicious on its own, but also lends itself extremely well to ice cream, yogurt or oatmeal.  I even like to add it to salads!  Cooking fruit is also a fantastic way to bring out the flavors in under-ripe specimens.  Intimidated by the pitting process?  Sarah has a solution- just cut the fruit in half and cook; the skin and pit can be removed with ease after being baked.  
 

 2.  Frosted Fresh Cherry Layer Cake  

This recipe is great for so many reasons.  It incorporates one of summer’s most beautiful gifts, cherries, with a beloved classic, the butter cake.  Plus, layers really up the fancy quotient!  However, using fresh fruit in butter cakes can sometimes be difficult.  The fruit adds an unpredictable variable to the baking process.  Many complain that it turns the cake rubbery, or causes an unsightly dip in the middle.  This recipe addresses that problem, and explains how to solve it.  It also allows adjustment to several different types of fruits (different fruits have different acidity levels, adding to their unpredictability).  The Frosted Fresh Cherry Layer Cake will be a success no matter how you fruit it! 

 

3. Lemon Raspberry Polenta Cake  

Polenta is a type of Italian cornmeal, usually used in savory dishes.  However, our recipe uses a certain type of this grain to make a sweet and tart cornmeal cake.  Brushed with limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur, one bite will take you to the Amalfi Coast, home to some of the best lemons in the world!  Fresh whipped cream, raspberries and almonds sweeten this baked delight to perfection, while tangy lemon zest keeps you and your guests on your toes.  Rustic and pretty, this polenta cake will be a great conversation piece and dessert at your next party!
 

4. Classic Peach Pie 

This Classic Peach Pie is bound to become a classic in your family!  Flaky and sweet, it manages to be juicy and refreshing without leaving the bottom of the pan soaked and doughy.  We kept this one simple- with fruit as fresh as this; it is best to let their flavors do the talking.  The only thing I would add?  Vanilla or cinnamon (or maybe vanilla and cinnamon, ah!) ice cream!  Bring this peachy-good pie to your next barbecue- I guarantee you and your dessert will be a hit!  Even picky eaters won’t turn this pie down.  

  

5. Chocolate Zucchini Gluten-Free Tea Cakes  

Trust me, you will not taste the zucchini in this!  It is a fantastic way to trick any veggie-haters into getting more fiber into their diet.  The cocoa powder provides antioxidants, while the applesauce and zucchini add vitamins.  They also help make the cake lighter!  This teacake is perfect afternoon treat, and good for when you’re craving something sweet, but not too sweet.  Plus, since it has vegetables, it’s totally healthy, right?  At least that’s what I’m telling myself!   

 
That rounds out our five sweet ways to use your farmers’ market finds!  Tell us which one is your favorite, and why!

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