Ah, summer. The refreshing and rejuvenating season has arrived, and for July’s article, we’re talking about summer desserts.
Fresh fruit always popular
We talked to Donna Ford, executive chef at Apex, North Carolina’s Sweet Memories Bakery, about her summertime delicacies. “Anything with fresh local fruit” is a big hit during the hottest time of the year, she says. Clients love the “light, refreshing peak of flavor” and chef Ford adds that these desserts are “a sweet escape from the heat.”
Pictured above is chef Ford’s summer dessert, brûléed peaches and cream. Apricots, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, figs, nectarines, plums, strawberries, and watermelons are also at their peak in July, therefore are a wide variety of ingredients are available.
As for the fruits’ preparations, chef Ford says there are many different ways to serve July’s seasonal fruit, including galettes, tarts, pies, ice creams, fruit curds and panna cotta, or on top of meringues, shortcakes, poundcakes, and waffles. Here’s chef Ford’s recipe for a meringue to complement the season’s fresh fruit:
300g egg whites at room temperature
595.2g extra fine granulated sugar
- Place egg whites and sugar in a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure free of any trace of fat).
- Heat the egg whites and sugar while whisking constantly. Continue heating until sugar dissolves and there are no visible grains (take a little of the mixture and rub it between your fingers to make sure it is grain free).
- Place meringue in 5-quart mixer with whip attachment. Mix on low for 5 minutes.
- Increase speed to high and whip 5 minutes longer or until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
- Pipe onto plates and torch.
Nostalgia in summer desserts
We also spoke with John Roccaforte, executive pastry chef at Denver’s Footers Catering, who shared with us his most popular summertime treat, campfire bites. They are a “made-from-scratch twist” on the s’mores we know and love. The nostalgia represents the season in this bite-sized dessert, and customers love it.
“I think our clients like the idea of a bite-sized dessert that takes them back to summer nights camping or gathering in the backyard around a fire pit and cooking s'mores with friends,” says chef Roccaforte.
Campfire bites consist of gingery homemade graham crackers, rich dark chocolate ganache, and an in-house smoked hickory marshmallow.
Get Fresh July 2015
Sweet Memories Bakery and Footers Catering are proud members of the ICA. To learn more about the ICA visit www.internationalcaterers.org.