Hot days call for quick, effortless treats. Go beyond the ice cream scoop with easy yet elegant desserts that take just minutes to make. These irresistible warm-weather treats feature peak season produce and come together in less than 30 minutes. Filled with fruit and bursting with freshness, these creamy, delicious confections contain just the right amount of sweetness. With little hand-on time and minimal cooking, they're the perfect finish to a seasonal meal at the end of a sweltering day. After all, casual meals with friends call for dishes that encourage conversation, not hours spent slaving over a hot stove.
This dessert features one of summer's stars: fresh, ripe blueberries. We cook the blueberry mixture down until almost jammy, then fold in fresh berries for a bit of juicy pop in every bite. Coarsely crumbled English shortbread cookies act as the pie crust and add a delicious crunch. You can make the sauce ahead, and then microwave in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 90 seconds or until warm, stirring every 30 seconds. Serve immediately for best results. Using low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream keeps this superfast summer treat at just 5.6g of fat and under 300 calories.
Chargrilled pineapple slices caramelize and become extra juicy, a worthy dessert on their own. Go one step further with a generous sprinkle of mint-lime sugar—it adds an incredible fragrance and a bit of crunch to every bite. This is delicious on its own or served with low-fat vanilla ice cream. This simple 3-ingredient dessert can be thrown together in less than 20 minutes and gives you the sweetness you crave without a lot of fat, calories, or added sugar. It's the perfect vegetarian dessert for hot summer days or for those on a diet.
Strawberries and peaches soften and release their syrupy juices while the tangy yogurt mixture thickens in the fridge. The brandy gives the yogurt a boozy kick, but you can skip it or fold in peach nectar instead. Make the yogurt and fruit mixture before dinner; then assemble the parfaits just before serving. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have an impressive dessert fit for an end-of-summer soirée. Try your local farmers' market for fresh-from-the-garden produce to boost the flavor. Skip the booze and triple the recipe to serve this parfait at brunch for a group.
This grown-up float gets classy with sweet wine and a hit of fresh basil (you can substitute sparkling grape juice or cider). Blending the frozen cantaloupe makes the drink wonderfully frothy and refreshing. Freeze the fruit ahead; then blend and assemble just before serving. This staff favorite can't be beat when you want a seasonal summer drink to serve at a backyard barbecue, al fresco dinner party, or as a quick weeknight pick-me-up. One batch serves six, so double or triple for a group as needed. Garnish with basil springs and cubed cantaloupe to add to the summertime appeal.
We usually call for roasted fruits in the fall when a little extra heat is needed to coax out their juices, but this quick and easy dessert is perfect for summer produce. Here, tart ripe plums mellow and soften in the oven while their juices create a lovely glaze. The balsamic syrup can be made ahead and kept in a glass jar at room temperature. If it gets too thick after sitting, return to a simmer for a minute or two. Ready in 30 minutes, this light seasonal treat caps off a dinner of grilled meat and fresh vegetables.