Summer Desserts with Fruits at Peak Season!

While a lot of people are dashing around on July fourth trips or vacations, I am staying home this year. I plan on making this holiday extra special for my family so they don’t experience FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. One of the ways I do this is by planning a special July Fourth menu, and today I am featuring not just one, but two special showstopping desserts!

Today’s desserts are a bit nostalgic, and bring back some beloved classics. By using fresh fruit in season, there is no need to add much sugar at all.  These desserts are pretty simple, yet quite dramatic so they are perfect for entertaining. 

First, we take the mystery out of a classic favorite called Cherries Jubilee, where sweet ripe cherries are flambéed in liqueur, which really intensifies the flavor of the cherries. Serve this luscious cherry topping over vanilla ice cream, and a typical ice cream sundae would be boring in comparison.  I got to learn how to make this dessert from a French cooking master, Bruno from Porterhouse restaurant in San Mateo California. He has made over 36,000 cherries jubilees throughout his career!  To see this master at work, click on the video below: 

For an even easier dessert that doesn’t require any fire, try this mile high strawberry pie, using fresh strawberries, a beautiful glaze, and a ready made crust to save you time in the kitchen. I visited Gizdich farms in California, where they not only sell stellar produce, but they have a bakery on site churning out pies made with all of their seasonal fruit.

For this recipe, you can save time by using a store bought pie crust. I personally love the Trader Joe’s pie crust in the frozen section, because it is buttery, flaky and easy to shape into any pie pan of choice. It is truly the Mediterranean way to base a dessert on whole fruits with minimal sugar, and these recipes really fit this lifestyle! To see how simple it is to make this pie, click on the video below:

Posterhouse Cherries Jubilee


  • Fresh Cherries pitted (8 oz)
  • White Sugar (1/2 oz)
  • Unsalted Butter (1/2 oz)
  • Lemon Zest (4 julienne strips)
  • Orange Zest (4 julienne strips)
  • Orange Juice (1/2 oz)
  • Cherry Brandy Liqueur (1 oz)
  • Cointreau (1/2 oz)
  • Vanilla Gelato (1 scoop)
  • Cinnamon
  • DIRECTIONS: Add ½ oz of sugar and ½ oz of unsalted butter, to the pan allow it to begin caramelizing add in 5 strips each of julienned lemon and orange and lightly brown it. Put 8 oz of cherries and cherry juice mixture into a hot copper pan. This should be approx. 16 cherries (8 per dish, recipe makes 2) Immediately add 1 oz of cherry brandy liqueur to create the flambe. Throw a dash of cinnamon into the pan for an extra flare + flavor Add ½ oz each of fresh lemon juice and orange juice. Let boil for approx. 5 or 6 minutes before adding a ½ oz of Cointreau to create an additional flambe Put 1 scoop of vanilla gelato in each dish along with 8 cherries each Drizzle with sauce from the pan and serve

Mile High Strawberry pie


  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
  • For the crust: Preheat the oven to 450°. Unroll crust into a 9-in. pie plate. Trim edge. Line unpricked crust with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil or parchment. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack and set aside
  • Wash, destem, and slice fresh strawberries in half or quarters. Reserve 1⁄2 of the berries in a mixing bowl for later. Place the remaining half of the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Blend until fully puréed. Pour the strawberry purée, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar into a sauce pan. Mix well to combine. Heat over medium-high heat to a gentle boil, then reduce to low-medium heat until thickened. This takes about 10 minutes. To test, dip a spoon into the jam, if the back remains coated in the jam, it is ready.
  • Pour the strawberry glaze over the fresh berries, combine gently until the berries are fully coated. Cool to room temperature or chill before using as a topping. Fill the pie crust with the glazed strawberries once cooled, then serve.

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