photo: maria robledo

In honor of our giveaway of a signed, first-edition of Sally’s A New Way to Cook, we thought we’d publish 3 recipes for summer that are both crazy-simple (one has only 1 ingredient!) and dazzling. They make up just a fraction of the book’s chapter on fruit desserts. It includes a guide for improvising flavored syrups for making quick, memorable fruit salads, which is what’s happening in the photo above. Think Vanilla Bean; Cherry Eau-de-Vie;  Rosewater; Basil and Cinnamon; Rosemary, Lavender and Honey; Whisky and White Peppercorn syrups to adorn peaches, aprictos, melons, cherries, berries, mangos…

To enter, just comment if you’d like a copy of A New Way to Cook and we will pick a winner at random on June 19th.

And now, here are Three Crazy-Simple Fresh Fruit Desserts:

Frozen Lychees

In late June in New York’s Chinatown, the brittle rose-brown shells of fresh lychees are stewn on the walkways in the shaded parks: telltale evidence of impromptu open air snacks of the beloved fruit. Wrapped in a thin, pliable shell, the silky opalescent fruit inside has an intoxicatingly exotic aroma, a delicious perfume really. Lychees have increased so much in popularity among Westerners of late that I have found them in many supermarkets as well as gourmet and Asian markets.

My friend Anne Disrude had the inspired idea to freeze lychees whole in their shell. She places a bowl of them on the dinner table for guests to peel themselves to enjoy the frozen sorbet-like flesh within for an effortless and dramatic dessert, especially when paired with homemade cookies.

Buy lychees by the pound and still on their branches if possible. No ripening is required. They will last 2-3 weeks under refrigeration. Stored in a plastic bag in the freezer, they will keep 2-3 months.


Tropical Fruits with Passion Fruit Sauce

Inside the homely puckered brown shell of the passion fruit, is a bright orange pulp with a marvelously complex flavor that mingles pineapple, orange and banana. It makes a lovely instant sauce for a variety of fruits, particularly tropical ones such as mango, papaya, banana and pineapple although peaches and strawberries go well with it also.

The pulp of one passion fruit will dress a 1-cup serving of fruit. Simply slice the passion fruit in half crosswise and scoop out the pulp. Strain if desired, although the seeds can be eaten and add a pleasant crunch. Toss fresh cut fruits with it.


White Peaches with Crushed Raspberry Sauce

La Merenda, a tiny restaurant near the Cours Selaya market in Nice is considered by many to be one of the city’s finest bistros, renown for the simple preparation of perfect ingredients. There I tasted as lovely a dessert as I have ever encountered: an ordinary sounding “compote” of raspberries and peaches. The raspberries however were crushed with a fork rather than pureed, leaving their texture intact and providing a wonderfully elemental effect. The perfectly ripe peaches were white ones with the characteristic haunting fragrance, with overtones of vanilla. They were simply tossed with the coarse sauce whose slight acidity enhanced their extraordinary flavor. For 6 servings:

In a medium bowl mashed 2 cups fresh raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice with a fork until coarsely crushed. Just before serving, peel 6 ripe peaches, slice into 1/2 inch slices and toss with the puree to coat. Serve at once.

Related posts: book giveaway: sally schneider’s ‘a new way to cook’
recipe: strawberries in beaujolais sauce
lemon-scented olive oil  (recipe + gift idea = valentine)
recipe for easter and other spring celebrations: boneless leg of lamb with crushed olives
greek soul food: beets with garlic sauce (recipe)

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15 replies on “3 crazy-simple summer desserts from ‘a new way to cook’ (and a reminder to enter our giveaway)

  1. Like I always say…I have only read 3 cookbooks cover to cover and 2 of them were by Sally. SIGNED? A gift to us mere mortals? ! be still my heart.

  2. Thank heavens for people who see beauty in simplicity. I would love to have this cookbook

  3. I would adore a new way to cook, as my old way has grown tired. Looks fantastic!

  4. A cookbook with simple recipes? The three you’ve reproduced here look amazing – and leave me hungry – both literally and figuratively (for the book). Thanks both for this post and for making me aware of this amazing-sounding book. I’d LOVE to add this title to my small cookbook collection – and I promise to use it heavily.

  5. Welll, not all are as simple as this, but I can swear by all they recipes…

  6. These are the kind of recipes that got me through meals while I was working. Now that I’m retired, I still love their simplicity.

  7. I would like a copy of the book. At the moment I am totally in love with the isea that it is the ingredients – the fresh and in season that make the meal – not what I do to them… but you do have t “do a little something sometimes” This looks like in might be for me.

    BTW I was drawn to your site because my friends tease me about my early substitution skills which mostly has to do with the fact that I would always serve a meal say something like this was meant to be Thai Chicken but I had these prawns and then I didn’t have any coriander… so I ..

    I regularly pick a recipe and “approximate” ingredients.

    But at least now I start with the ingredients in mind and cook from there. Mostly 🙂

  8. Love these simple fresh dessert recipes. I always put grapes in the freezer come summer but never thought to do lychees! Brilliant.

  9. What a wonderful way to use raspberries from mym patch and support the local peach growers as well. And what a nice birthday present too.

  10. What a delicious idea for a dessert, and with little sugar. I am always looking for raspberry ideas (assuming the Japanese beetles leave me some). Thanks!

  11. I like these recipes because they are so casual, free and innovative. Complicated recipes cry out for modification – and these simple beauties beg to be as they are! I keep buying cherries ever though I’m the only one eating them…and now I’ll have to buy more for the cherry recipes. Thank you so much for always inspiring the curious cook in all of us! Won’t we be lucky to read/have this new book!

  12. Living with my daughter in Vietnam for several months has taught me about diversity of fruits and vegetables That I never knew exsisted or which were so exotic that could rarely be afforded here in the states. It was wonderful to have on hand passion fruit, custard apples, lychees,chom choms, etc.. at such an inexpensive price and always eating my fill and wondering what else to do with them. It made me think of my own fruits of which I have abundance of here at home,(Utah), which are hard to get there like my currents, raspberries and gooseberries.
    I would love to be inspired beyond the fruit jam or frozen popcyles I always make and in reading your article, would love a chance to receive your book Sally!
    Thank You, Gloria Jean Williams
    P.S. Loved making your herb salt!

  13. Thanks for your words. I’m afraid that giveaway was long over ages ago. But maybe I should take your message as time to do another one!

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