With outrageous color and inventive twists on tradition (hello, raspberry-wine ice pop!), these pin-worthy treats will be sure to steal the show.
By Lynn Andriani
The Classic Beauty Queen of Summer Desserts
Baker Kathleen King, founder and owner of Tate's Bake Shop in Southhampton, NY, turns these shortcake-scone hybrids into festive stars, but you can make them any shape you'd like: round, square or even half-moon. With fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of berries, they're a classic and beautiful dessert that plays up the best of summer.
At the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Beverage Manager Tiffany Soto makes a spectacular, grown-up ice pop that tastes like a slice of cheesecake with raspberries. She purees the fruit with Beaujolais wine and simple syrup, then pours it into molds, alternating the fuchsia-colored fruit mixture with layers of cream cheese, and finishes off the treat with a graham-cracker-crumb "crust."
These vibrant, rustic fruit crostatas from the new cookbook Franny's: Simple Seasonal Italian make great, stress-free dinner party fare, since they're easy to prepare and are meant to not look too perfect. You can use whatever summer fruit you can get, from the first raspberries of June to the last of September's plums. Each crostata feeds two people, so couples can share (and they taste even better with a scoop of gelato on top).
Fried dough may be delicious, but it isn't always the most lovely-looking dessert. These cherry-and-ricotta-stuffed doughnuts, though, are a thing of beauty. They're fried until crispy and oozing, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a shot of warm sweet chocolate.
Give us a mini, individual anything—meat loaf, mac 'n' cheese, pound cake—and we're smitten. So it is with these tiny peach pies, which anyone can make with store-bought puff pastry. And itty-bitty or not, the combination of golden brown crust and oozing, warm fruit is unbeatable.
You can play up the dazzling colors and frosty look of this tangy-sweet granita by serving it in a martini glass, margarita glass, champagne coupe or big-bowled wine glass. Pastry Chef Joanne Chang, author of the cookbook Flour, Too, says you can make the dessert up to two weeks ahead—just store it in the freezer until ready to serve.
Barbecue fanatics may obsess about perfect grill marks on their chicken or burgers, but we'd like to point out that a juicy, perfectly ripe peach also takes wonderfully well to cooking over flames. The fruit caramelizes as it chars, turning even sweeter (and those dark crosshatch markings look rather striking against the orange flesh, too).