Healthy Fruit Desserts
Grilled Peaches and Plums with Mascarpone
Caramelizing plums and peaches on the grill brings out their natural sweetness, and Francis Mallmann bastes them with melted butter and sugar to make them even more luscious. A dollop of cool mascarpone tops the warm fruit.
Plum Compote with Star Anise
Plums and star anise form a brilliant and novel pairing. Although you don't eat it, we like to leave the star anise in the syrup because it looks so beautiful; you can remove it if you prefer. Serve the compote with pound cake or butter cookies.
Strawberry and Sweet Wine Gelées with Candied Pistachios
The candied pistachios can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The gelées can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in their ramekins. Unmold the gelées just before serving.
Strawberries with Buttermilk Ice and Balsamic Vinegar
Pastry chef Deanie Fox makes this fluffy granita with buttermilk, which is low in fat, high in calcium and easy to digest. She spoons the creamy, tangy ice over lightly sweetened strawberries, a vitamin C-loaded fruit.
Gingered Orange Gratin
Grace Parisi mixes cold whipped crème fraîche with candied ginger, then spoons it over warm, sweet orange slices. The combination of flavors, textures and temperatures is magnificent.
Roasted Bananas with Spiced Syrup and Candied Nuts
"We didn't have much in the way of spices growing up, but you can't tie everything to terroir," Michel Bras says about the ingredients available to him in the Aubrac mountains. Here the chef uses an international array of ingredients, studding bananas with cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and coffee beans, then serving them, roasted, with a cinnamony syrup scented with the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout.
Maple, Pear and Ricotta Parfaits
The ricotta in these parfaits is full of calcium, and the pears are loaded with fiber. To add flavor, Marisa May poaches the pears in water infused with maple syrup and lemon juice. The poached pears can also be served separately with granola or yogurt.
Cherry Lambic Crisps
At NYC's Vandaag, chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark uses beer in everything from cocktails to desserts. Kriek—lambic beer fermented with cherries—intensifies the fruit flavors in these crisps.
Citrus Gratin with Toasted Almonds
This warm citrus dessert is an updated version of the old-fashioned half grapefruit broiled with brown sugar. In addition to vitamin C, the recipe provides vitamin E from the scattering of sweet and crunchy almonds on top.
"I think Missouri food seems to have stronger ties to the cooking of the South than the upper Midwest," Paul Virant says. Here, he bakes his simple peach crisps—a classic Southern dessert—in individual ramekins, but the sweet summer fruit and crunchy, buttery topping could be prepared in a single baking dish as well.
A lovely way to serve raspberries, blackberries and blueberries: suspended in a hibiscus gelatin.
Honey-Roasted Apricots with Amaretti Cookies
Jessica Theroux drizzles apricots with honey before roasting (plums and peaches work well, too) and crumbles store-bought amaretti (Italian cookies made with egg whites and almond flour) for a crispy topping.
Minted Watermelon Popsicles
These popsicles are a great fat-free snack, made with lots of naturally sweet watermelon and only a little sugar. They can be frozen in special popsicle molds or in standard ice cube trays (three cubes equals one serving).
Stone-Fruit Panzanella with Zabaglione
A classic Italian panzanella (bread salad) combines juicy tomatoes and bread cubes. Here, Chris Cosentino swaps in stone fruits like apricots and peaches for the tomatoes. Then he pushes the dessert over the top by dolloping the "salad" with an airy zabaglione, a frothy sauce of egg yolks whipped with sweet dessert wine.
Fresh Mango Sorbet
Inspired by the ripe mangoes at a farmers' market along the drive to Mount Kenya Safari Club, Hubert Des Marais came up with this smooth and creamy frozen dessert. Its intensely tropical kick comes from a coconut-milk base infused with ginger and cardamom.
Summer Blackberry Custards
Alain Coumont makes these ethereal, citrusy custards with wild blackberries gathered from his property.
Melon-and-Strawberry Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Syrup
Chiles add subtle heat to this exceptional fruit salad. Grace Parisi likes using any syrup left in the fruit bowl for cocktails; she mixes a little of it into rum and pours the drink over ice.
Summer Berries with Cumin Meringues and Crème Fraîche
This recipe combines antioxidant-packed summer berries with an easy-to-make, protein-rich meringue. A touch of cumin gives the meringues an exotic earthiness, but they're equally delicious without the spice.
Swirled Summer Berry Soufflés
When Annabel Langbein started cooking professionally in 1981, she began gaining weight, eventually putting on 50 pounds. A nutrition course put her on the course to healthier eating, teaching her how to prepare low-fat dishes that didn't make her feel deprived, like this decadent-tasting soufflé, a swirl of berries and marshmallowy meringue.
Tipsy Plums & Raspberries
Marcia Kiesel loves serving cold Japanese plum wine as an after-dinner drink. Here, she uses it to quick-soak plums.