Stories / Recipes

Recipe Roundup: Ultimate Summer Fruit Desserts

Elena North-Kelly

Elena North-Kelly

August 13, 2014


Blueberry Clafoutis

From peaches to blackberries to cherries, the summer months shower us with a veritable rainbow of decadent treats. And with our CSA boxes and farmers’ market totes overflowing with vibrant fruit, sometimes we just can’t scarf down enough fistfuls of berries to keep up. Unwilling to squander anything the season has to offer, we came up with a comprehensive recipe roundup to help whip all of your leftover summertime bounty into crowd-pleasing desserts. From effortless, no-cook variations to gooey, oven-baked delights, here are 14 recipes to make sure nothing—not even a single, rogue blueberry—goes to waste:

Basil–Peach Sorbet
Sweet, ripe peaches mingle with refreshing basil in this lovely, simple sorbet.

Black Raspberry and Fig Tart
This recipe combines the rich sweetness from black mission figs with the bright, tart bite from black raspberries for a decadent, gem-colored treat.

Blueberry Clafoutis
Clafouti, a classic French dessert from the Limousin region, is traditionally made with sour cherries, but this version becomes all-American with the addition of blueberries.

Blueberry Boy Bait
Named for its rumored man-attracting powers, this cake is delicious with a steaming cup of coffee or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Basil–Peach Sorbet

Blueberry Slump
A slump (also known as a cobbler or grunt) is a dessert of fresh fruit that’s cooked until thick and gooey, then topped with dollops of dough and baked. It can be made with any fruit, although blueberries are the most traditional. The only requirement is that the fruit be fresh and seasonal—perfect for summer.

Brown Butter Cake with Strawberries and Sweet-and-Salty Macadamia Nuts
For a spin on a French financier, chef Todd Mitgang substitutes macadamia nuts for the classic almonds.

Cherry Clafouti
James Beard’s traditional clafouti recipe can also be made in winter or spring, with frozen cherries. It’s also excellent with fresh prunes, plums, nectarines, or pears.

Cherry–Pinot Noir Sorbet with Ginger
This cherry sorbet, complemented by the red-fruit and earthy flavors of Pinot Noir, gets a dose of bracing spice from fresh ginger.

Jim Beard's Shortcake

Jim Beard's Shortcake
When James Beard shared his mother's recipe for shortcake with his friend Larry Forgione, the future JBF Award winner put the dessert on his menu and it remains there to this day. Finely crumbled hard-boiled egg yolks are the secret to the perfectly tender crumb.

Nectarine and Blackberry Cobbler
Serve this biscuit-topped cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a wonderful summertime treat.

Peach and Raspberry Gratin with Noyaux Cream
When making this rustic dessert, the resourceful Judy Rodgers infused the creamy topping with the kernels of peach pits (known in French as noyaux), which imparts a delicious, almond-like flavor.

Peach Tarte Tatin
Tarte tatin is traditionally made with apples, but it’s also delightful when prepared with sweet peaches. Serve with ice cream for the ultimate summer treat.

Sweet Corn Budino with Blueberries and Cornmeal Shortbread

Strawberries with Honeyed Mascarpone and Balsamic Vinegar
This light, no-cook dessert, developed by renowned chef Michael White, is perfect for effortless picnics. 

Sweet Corn Budino with Blueberries and Cornmeal Shortbread
The best of summer’s harvest goes into this dessert, pairing creamy corn pudding with a tart blueberry compote and crunchy shortbread cookie. Use the corn as soon as you bring it home from the market, when it will still have peak flavor and sweetness.

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.