As the temperatures outdoors begin to rise, with summer just around the corner, many people will be looking for refreshing and tasty desserts. Whether you prepare them for two or enough for a crowd, some dessert selections are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. Choosing the right one can make all the difference in adding a special touch on a warm summer night.
“Summer is a great time for special desserts,” explains Chef Scott Jenkins, the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “Many fruits are in season, we want to avoid using the oven, if possible, and we want to eat a dessert that makes us enjoy that special time a little bit longer.”
Here are five desserts that are sure to please, this summer:
1. The cold. Summer temperatures call for cool desserts, such as gelato or Italian ice. It’s hard to find people who don’t like to nosh on some gelato or Italian ice.
2. The comforting. Cobbler makes a wonderful, comforting summer dessert. Use fresh fruit that is in season, such as blueberries or peaches, and pair it with a favorite vanilla ice cream for a special treat.
3. The fun. Parfaits are a lot of fun. Not only do they look like fun, but they taste great, and can be quite versatile. Whether it’s strawberry cheesecake, lemon pound cake, or another favorite, parfaits are always sure to please.
4. The thick. Shakes are simple to make and tasty to eat, yet most of us tend to forget about them. Pull out the blender and use what’s on hand to create a great shake (e.g., fresh or frozen fruit, milk or ice cream, etc.).
5. The memorable. S’mores has to be one of the most memory-inducing foods around. Filled with summer memories of years past, this all-time favorite treat can be prepared over the grill or bonfire.
“Summer is a great time for relaxing, being with friends, and creating wonderful experiences,” adds Chef Jenkins. “Believe it or not, our desserts help to do just that. Most of us have wonderful memories involving summer desserts. From Superman ice cream to roasting marshmallows on a stick, it’s good stuff.”
Extra Virgin is a restaurant located in Arlington, which hosts a variety of live entertainment acts, featuring jazz music, and offers late-night dining. The restaurant has an olive-oil-inspired menu and décor, and specializes in modern Italian cuisine. Options include such specialties as wood-fired pizzas, pastas, meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as vegetarian options. The restaurant offers lunch specials, as well as new weekly menu specialties.
To learn more about Extra Virgin, visit the website at: www.extravirginva.com.
Try this Chef Jenkins Favorite Summer Dessert Recipe
Raspberry and Rhubarb Tarts
Pick your own wild raspberries on a nature walk or at your local store; rhubarb is also one of those wild fence grown items that are usually mistaken as a broad leaf weed.filling3 c fresh raspberries2 c fresh diced rhubarb1 c sugarsqueeze of lemon juice1 tsp vanilla
Cook the rhubarb with sugar and 2 tbs white wine for 20 minutes on simmer; breaking down until semi soft, remove from heat and cool; add the fresh raspberries.
crust1 1/4 c ap flour1/4 tsp salt1 tbs sugar4 oz butter, 1 stick cut into small grape size pieces, place in freezer to chill3 tbs ice water
Add all dry ingredients to your food processor and blend; add the butter and pulse the processor to cut the cold or frozen batter into the flour. Pulse until you get pea size lumps of dough, add the ice water and pulse until the dough is wet. Remove and let rest in cooler for 1/2 hour.
Roll out the dough and cut into 6" rounds. place 1/2 c of fruit mix in the middle of the dough circle and turn the edges over 1/2" at a time toward the center, rolling the edge of the tart 1" in toward the middle. You will be left with an exposed center section of fruit. Dust with raw sugar and bake for 20 minutes at 350.