With temperatures and heat indices soon to be in the triple digits (at least where I live), these cold, fruity desserts will quench your sweet tooth and cool you down. Any of these easy desserts can be whipped up in minutes and their fresh flavors are just right for the season.
As much as I love summer, the heat gets to me; every year I say to myself, “…whow is it so hot so early last year?” (Yes, it was.) I can already feel my enthusiasm for getting things done outside waning, and this week we got our first taste of summer temperatures along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
I think this time of year is the best for lounging—whether by the pool or the beach, by the bay or along a creek or lake—basically any cool, breezy place where you can get away from work and be comfortable. Although these days, lounging doing Sudoku in bed after an afternoon nap sounds almost as wonderful as winning the lottery. Until I get used to the heat, it’s pretty much my fantasy and I wish I could stay home in the AC until sunset.
These desserts have been with me forever and even though I make them at other times of the year, they are really perfect when it’s hot outside. Each of them is a part of what summer tastes like to me. They remind me of drifting off to spend long, languid days on the beach or dock reading, almost lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves coming ashore. No stress from exams or deadlines, no worries about aging loved ones, no worries about work or kids – that was summer for me for so many years of my life.
I am thinking about Millionaire pie like my mom because she made it popular in my family, but it was my great aunt, aunt ruth, who brought this pie into our lives. I remember loving it when I first tasted it, I had never had anything like it before. But my mind was blown when I did it with my mother, who explained to me how the lemon juice “cooks” it and thickens as it cools in the fridge. It’s a pie that’s made all year round, but summer is the perfect time to try it.
Frozen Key Lime Pie is a two-ingredient cake – three if you count the pie crust. It has a strong lime flavor, and because it’s made with yogurt rather than milk, cream, or condensed milk, it’s my favorite choice when I need something. sans traditional dairy. I’ve made it over the years using goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and every type of plant-based yogurt known to man without losing it. It’s the easiest thing in the world to put together: It’s light, refreshing, and enjoyable Millionaire pieyou will share the recipe with everyone who tries it.
Fruit sorbet, I have no doubt it will become a favorite. You don’t need an ice cream maker — just some time in the freezer. Its preparation is also easy and will please every palate. I’m sharing the original recipe here, but when making it I reduce the sugar by about half or to taste. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking before freezing.
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My summer days aren’t as carefree, relaxed, or as slow as the summer days of my youth, but the heat slows me and my husband down. . . just a little bit. The sun shines longer, our schedules are more flexible, and we tend to finish days later than the rest of the year. Most evenings we opt for a light and simple dinner, and after the day’s heat subsides, we move to the porch for a cold dessert. Sitting in the big rockers under the fans, we chat, but mostly listen to the hums, clicks, and hoots of the nocturnal creatures that come to life once the sun goes down completely. With childlike exuberance, we watch the reflection of the moon glistening on the water and the glowing beetles scurry among the pines, oaks and magnolias while enjoying a piece of cake, sherbet or ice cream.
Sometimes I need to remind myself how good life really is, and these familiar, comforting desserts—along with sitting on the porch, gazing at the stars, and immersing myself in nature, with my feet in the sand or grass—do that for me. Like most people, I get caught up in worrying and worrying about things I can’t control or change, but these summer flavors (and this Millionaire pie specifically) that I shared with the people I loved most in this world brought me back to what’s important: Slowing down, spending time with the people, pets, and creatures you love, and enjoying where you live.
I hope you take the time this summer to waste a day or two, surrender to the heat, and let it sap your energy enough to not worry or fret. Soak up the beauty of the season, stay out of the kitchen as much as you can, and treat yourself to one of these delicious cold desserts.
5 minutes (plus 1 to 2 hours of freezing)
1 qt. vanilla yogurt, preferably full-fat
1/2 small can frozen limes, mostly thawed but still very cold
1 graham cracker crust
Using an electric mixer, mix the yogurt and lime thoroughly.
Pour into the body and freeze.
Aunt Ruth’s Millionaire Pie
10 minutes (plus 2 hours cooling)
1 medium can chopped peaches, drained
1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
1 bowl of Cool-Whip
1 can of Eagle brand condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pre-baked, deep cake
Cut the peaches into bite-sized pieces.
Mix all the ingredients, finally add the lemon juice.
Pre-bake the piecrust according to the instructions on the package, then pour the mixture into the crust and leave to cool in the refrigerator.
15 minutes (plus 2 to 3 hours of freezing)
2 ripe bananas
2 cups of sugar
Juice of 6 lemons
1 small jar of maraschino cherries
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 gallon whole milk
Mash the bananas with sugar and then add fresh lemon juice.
Add the juice of the oranges along with the pulp, scrape with a spoon or grapefruit spoon and add all the pulp.
Pour in the juice from the jar of cherries, then chop the cherries and add them as well.
Add the pineapple and its juice.
Place in the freezer and freeze until you have a soft mush.
Mix the whipping cream and milk, then add to the frozen mash and continue to freeze until solid.
-I use less sugar, but you can season and adjust to your taste before freezing.
-If you double this recipe, double everything except the lemons. Use 9 lemons for a double dose.
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