I’m so excited for summertime evenings when friends come over to eat dinner al fresco, kids chase fireflies before bedtime, and we eat delicious desserts made with perfectly ripe summer fruit. Because it’s that tiny window of time when strawberries off the vine are just… perfect. We’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite summer fruit dessert recipes (plus two yummy toppings) that you can tweak to work with your favorite summer produce. Like raspberries or blueberries or, hey, even rhubarb.
If you have a farmer’s market nearby, splurge for fresh picked berries. They taste so much better just off the back of a grower’s pickup. Or, if you’re up for a bit of adventure, take the kids to the strawberry or blueberry patch to pick berries yourself. So much fun.
Top: fruit tart recipe | Delectably Green
Attempting a fruit tart can be daunting especially if, like me, you don’t even have a tart pan. But is there any better way to show off summer fruit in prime season? This bright, summery fruit tart recipe at Delectably Green is more casual and healthier than the classic French recipe that we spied at Whipped. Then again, I’d love to master that vanilla pastry cream one day. Maybe next summer.
A rustic galette is the perfect match for my mood at the end of a lazy summer day. Basically a free-form pie, it’s just easy. Even though I’m not a vegan, I’m loving this vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Galette recipe at Fettle Vegan. Amber makes suggestions for healthy modifications to the recipe (like gluten-free flour, chia instead of corn starch, vegan butter instead of real) that don’t cause this treat to lose its dessertiness. Or you can just make this with conventional ingredients. Of course, you can use any fresh fruit in the center, but if you’ve never tried strawberry and rhubarb together, you totally should.
If you’d rather go classic with your pie, try this recipe at Sprinkled with Jules. A perfectly flaky pie crust is no easy thing to master, but this Peach Pie keeps it simple and totally delicious. The unexpected kick of fresh ginger with the peaches in this recipe makes this one I want to try soon. Because every summer cookout has to end with a slice of pie, right?
Related: 5 gorgeous summer pies to make right now.
Ever heard of a grunt before? It’s a cobbler cooked on the stovetop which, if you ask me, makes this quintessential summer dessert even easier to make than usual. This Blueberry Grunt at Port and Fin has my mouth watering, and I would love to try it with some peaches instead of the blueberries. Or maybe both together. Mmm. And because it cooks over the open flame, it’s a perfect dessert for your summer campouts. Prepare to impress.
I tend to think berries when it comes to summer fruit, but any time is a good time for bananas. So how could I pass up Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding recipe spied at Plentytude? This is an easy upgrade to boxed vanilla pudding, but be warned: it takes at least 7 hours to chill. Make this one ahead of time; it’s well worth it. (Updated: since we originally posted this, Plentytude has shut down, but we found the same recipe at Pop Sugar, and it’s delicious.)
Homemade Cherry Ice Cream
The goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is something I’ve willingly driven 30 miles to stand in line for. It’s that good. If you don’t have a Jeni’s nearby, you can make a batch at home with her recipe featured at EzraPoundCake. I love the cherries in it, but blackberries or raspberries would be yummy too. (And note, we’re so happy to hear that Jeni’s is reopening next week. Hooray!)
Related: Best ever ice cream recipes
Strawberry MeringueEven if fresh berries aren’t quite ripe where you live, you can still make this delicious strawberry meringues recipe at Better Homes and Gardens. Their secret: use jam. Any flavor will work and you can boost the color with a drop of food coloring to get this same bold hue that’s so pretty. We like using all-natural food colors from India Tree.
Homemade Lemon Curd
I feel like we’re always having last-minute guests over for dinner or dessert in the summer, so I always keep a bowl of lemons on my kitchen table. They’re pretty, can garnish nearly any drink, and I can grab them to make a last-minute basic lemon curd like this one at Deb’s Pots. It’s delicious spooned over pound cake or shortbread, homemade or store bought. Or, if you have more time to plan, top a meringue or fill a macaron (you can use one of these amazing macaron recipes). And if you happen to have any left overs, put it on your french toast for breakfast. But good luck keeping some aside.
And of course…Whipped Cream to top it off
basic whipped cream recipe at Health.com keeps things really simple: cream and sugar, you guys. But you can always add a teaspoon of vanilla or maple syrup for a little extra flavor.Any dessert tastes better with whipped cream on top. This