As spring arrives in full swing it brings with it a crop of delightful fresh fruits. Sometimes just snacking on fruit is not quite enough to satisfy, and so here are some ways to use spring’s top fruits to create delightful desserts or other sweet snacks.
Berries are finally returning from their ‘winter break’. While majority of berries feature as summer foods there is always some that arrive early. Berries are one of those foods that can be combined with pretty much anything and end up creating something delicious. While a berry topped pavlova is a perfect summer dessert, something like a berry cheesecake is a great for spring. For something smaller, baked blue berry bagels, strawberry muffins or raspberry white chocolate scones are all pretty great.
Okay cheating slightly here, bananas are technically a year-round fruit. However, it is all how you combine them to get that proper spring taste. Creating something like a banana and strawberry bread – using both fresh berries and bananas is a great spring dish; it uses the fresh fruit as a reminder of the warmer weather but the fact it is baked into a banana bread is a throwback to the recently left behind chill of winter. If that doesn’t float your boat maybe something like banana and caramel tarts will, with the fresh fruit and smooth flavours combining.
Lemons and Limes
Spring is the last season of the year to grab local lemons and limes. While these citrus fruits can be used to add flavour or to help season a number of dishes, sweet or savoury there are a number of ways to hero the fruits themselves. Something like homemade cordial is an easy way to use up any excess of the fruit, or a lemon and lime tart makes a great dessert to any spring meal.
Certain mandarin types; such as imperial and murcott, are still in season – before the fruit vanishes for summer. While these a rarer fruit to find in desserts there is always options, for examples mandarin and lemon syrup cakes, which also uses lemons is a great finger licking treat, or creating mandarin and yoghurt filo cakes can be a fun family activity that results in an edible delight.
While rhubarb and zucchini are both vegetables they warrant an honorary mention due to their contributions to the dessert and sweet snack spread. Rhubarb is another one of those ingredients that is available year around, however combining it with other seasonal fruits makes for an extra touch. Strawberry, rhubarb and apple pie is a delightful dessert that makes the most of the seasonal products or a rhubarb and caramel upside-down cake is an easy dish for any dinner parties.
Zucchini is around three out of the four seasons – and is just coming back into season. If you haven’t tried one of the many “healthy” chocolate cakes that use zucchini as a star ingredient maybe this is the perfect time to do so.
Written by Perri Digby