Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

I kept hoping September would be hot and I’d get to do a little more swimming in the lake, especially since I got some wild swim shoes or water shoes or whatever they’re called! I waited and waited for them and now it’s cool. There’s no denying fall is in the air, and right on time this year and I’m already thinking about pears and apples. In the meantime, though, I’m pulling out one last summer hurrah. I’m breaking out with this Strawberry Dream Cake.

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

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Blueberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping

Summer is just about over, folks. I am finding myself feeling like I do every year that I somehow missed out. That I didn’t get enough of our fresh fruit to fortify myself against the pending cold, bleak winter. Ugg. Did I just say Winter? The summer fruit just seems to come in so fast and furious that I just about feel like I have A.D.D. trying to choose! Peaches, Apricots, no, maybe Watermelon! Well, today, it’s Blueberries. My Blueberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping.

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping

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How to make German Rumtopf

How to Make German Rumtopf

So have you guys ever heard of German Rumtopf? This post is all about How to Make German Rumtopf. The name means Rum Pot and it’s basically a fruity alcoholic dessert made in a crock. Successive fruits are layered in with sugar and rum, starting in the spring with strawberries.

How to make German Rumtopf

My Rumtopf Pot

As the summer progresses and each fruit comes into season, it’s added to the pot, and the contents just get better and better. Once fall comes, and summer is over, the pot is closed up and left to mature until the Christmas season where it is traditionally first sampled for the first time in December on the first evening of Advent. We’ve been getting such good fruit this year that I don’t think there’d be an issue with starting a Rumtopf, now, even if it is a bit late in the summer.

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Fresh Strawberry Compote

Fresh Strawberry Compote

Our Strawberry season is just ending up Nord, here, in Minnesota. So before it’s too late, I’ve been taking advantage and using strawberries, a lot! One is this Fresh Strawberry Compote. It’s just a simple, little sauce but it’s infused with fresh strawberry flavor.

Fresh Strawberry Compote

Fresh Strawberry Compote

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Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Cherry Cheesecake Bars: Make with a home-made Cherry Filling or shortcut with canned. These will be a repeat every summer!

Ok guys, its time for true confessions, here. Do you have any fears? See, I do. I’m afraid of anything wriggly other than puppies & kitties. I have a thing about going too fast in cars, especially around drop-offs after rolling a car down a cliff. And. Most. Of. All. Wait for it: I’m afraid of cherry pie filling. Ummhmm.  You heard it right. Cherry Pie Filling.

cherry cheesecake bars

cherry cheesecake bars

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Cherry Crisp with Dark Chocolate

Desserts with Fruit

Many of my favorite desserts are made with fruit (the rest are usually chocolate!) Here you’ll find fruit-based desserts, desserts with fresh fruit or dried or those that have a fruit sauce. Enjoy!

any fruit (just about)

 

apples & applesauce

 

apricots

 

bananas

 

blackberries

 

blueberries

 

cherries

 

coconut

 

cranberries

 

dates

 

figs

 

honeydew

 

lemon

 

mixed berries

 

nectarines & peaches

 

pears

 

plums

 

pumpkin

 

raspberries

 

raisins

 

rhubarb

 

strawberries

 

back to the main dessert menu


Apricot Tart

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see apricots at the store last week. While they may not be my all time favorite to die for fruit, I was like, “Well, hello old friend!” Seriously, I spotted a lady carrying some to her cart and went back to produce to find them.

Apricot Tart

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Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling and Blueberry Compote

Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling & Blueberry Compote

If there was ever a frugal “cheat” of a dessert, Profiteroles, or Cream Puffs, as they are often called, have to be it. Easy to make, requiring no special equipment, although a piping bag & tip is nice, inexpensive, and make ahead. And once made, they can be filled & topped with all kinds of deliciousness. What more could one want?

Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling and Blueberry Compote

A home-made Mascarpone Cheese filling is in the center; they’re just waiting to be topped with Blueberry Compote

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Rhubarb Pistachio Cake

Rhubarb Pistachio Cake

Rhubarb Pistachio Cake. came about because there’s a “perfect storm” of ingredients! A neighbor volunteered some rhubarb, I had just picked up a new carton of yogurt and I knew I had a stash of pistachios in the freezer. Then I happened to open up the April Martha Stewart magazine.

Rhubarb Pistachio Cake

Rhubarb Pistachio Cake

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Grandma's Applesauce Cupcakes with Ermine Buttercream

Grandma’s Applesauce Cupcakes

From my Grandma, who was born in 1897 - the BEST applesauce cupcakes!

Do you have old family recipes that just take you back to childhood? Maybe it’s a photo, maybe it’s the first whiff of them baking in the oven, or maybe it’s that first bite? This is one of those for me…my Grandma Irene’s Applesauce Cupcakes. I’d guess these date back to the 1930’s, at least.

Grandma's Applesauce Cupcakes

Grandma’s Applesauce Cupcakes

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Irish Apple Cake or Apple Pie Cake

There are many names for this part cake, part pie dessert, and just as many recipes. A vague list of ingredients in my Irish Grandmother’s box pointed me towards it, and so began my search to find the particulars. Sometimes old recipes are like that, written I suppose, for the user and not some future progeny!

Irish Apple Pie Cake

Irish Apple Pie Cake

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Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Apricot Caramel Sauce . $1.58

An Apricot Caramel Sauce? To American tastes, the combination of dried fruit and caramel may seem a bit different, but it is absolutely surprising and certainly delicious.

Apricot Caramel Sauce - made for Austrian Crepes but so good over anything vanilla!

Apricot Caramel Sauce – made for Austrian Crepes but so good over anything vanilla!

Easy to make, watch the sugar carefully and don’t burn it – if it becomes darker around the edges or you catch even the faintest whiff of a burnt smell, move your pan off the heat and keep stirring until the sugar is melted, moving it back on if needed. A fork seems to work very well for stirring.

Blend a long time – there will be some texture; if that bothers you, simply strain it while it is still liquid enough to sieve. Once it cools, it thickens, so rewarm if necessary.

This is the caramel I normally serve with my Baked Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce. It’s so good in or on so many things. The dried apricots may be replaced with a different dried fruit.

Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Apricot Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: abt 3 cups
  • Difficulty: medium
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  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup firmly packed dried apricots (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a dry heavy saucepan (about 3-quart capacity) cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork until melted and then swirling pan, until sugar is a golden caramel, perhaps just a bit past golden towards amber, but not too dark.

Remove pan from heat and carefully add 3 cups water down side of pan (it will bubble up and steam). Return pan to heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved.

Slice apricots and add to pan. Simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Cool mixture 10 minutes and in a blender purée with vanilla until very smooth. Add any or all of the additional water if desired.

Sauce may be made several days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat sauce to warm.

Put Your own Spin on It

I’ve made this before with both pears and peaches instead of apricots and both are wonderful! I’ve not yet tried dried apples, but I imagine they’d give a lovely flavor to the sauce.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Strategies Applied:
  • Sugar: Look for sugar on sale, which usually happens around the holidays. While any holiday generates a sales price, the best sales are generally from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when coupons are abundant. Check out Aldi for your sugar; their prices are generally great. A rule of thumb: A store brand on sale will often beat a name brand on sale with a coupon. Aldi generally beats both. 1 cup is about 8 cents.
  • Dried Apricots: Dried fruit can be downright cheap when purchased on sale with a coupon, especially during the Christmas sales. The Holidays are a great time to buy dried fruit of any kind at a low price.  Regular price for Apricots, 6 ounces was $2.99. Sale price $1.00, coupon, $1.00 off two, final cost was $1.50.