Diana's Desserts Newsletter
Edition Number #9
July 1, 2003
Welcome Home Baker's and Friends,
It's July, and summer is upon us. I can't believe how fast this year seems to be
going. We say that every year, don't we? Before you know it, it will be fall and
time to start planning our holiday celebrations. It seems like it was just the
other day when we were celebrating Christmas and New Year's, doesn't it?
July's newsletter will focus on recipes for the most special of American
holidays, Independence Day, which celebrates the birthday of the United States
of America. Founded July 4th 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. America is celebrating it's 227th birthday this year.
Diana's Desserts Guest Submitted Recipe for July is from Moira, and is
appropriately called Moira's Chocolate Pie (see recipe below).
This month's Food Tips and Information section is on: Summer Berries -
Selecting, Storing and Serving Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and the information on Summer Berries.
Guest Submitted Recipe
Moira's Chocolate Pie
Comments: This chocolate pie tastes really good as a chilled dessert with
seasonal berries and whipped cream or ice-cream. The pastry shell can be bought
from your local supermarket for a couple of dollars, or can be made using a
short crust pastry mix.
1 ready-made pie or tart crust
315mL (1 1/3 cups) double cream
2 level tablespoons caster sugar (granulated sugar)
Small pinch of
115g (4 oz./1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
455g (16 oz.) best quality
cooking chocolate, broken up into small chunks
100mL (1/3 to 1/2 cup) cold milk
Place double cream (heavy cream), sugar, and pinch of salt in pan
and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture has boiled, remove from heat and add
butter and chocolate. Stir until it has compleatly melted. Allow the mixture to
cool slightly. While cooling, stir in at least 3/4 of the cold milk until smooth
and shiny. Allow mixture to cool down some and whisk in the rest of the cold
milk until smooth. (If extra milk is needed that is okay). Scrape the mixture
into the pastry shell, and allow it to cool for around 1-2 hours. Serve with
fresh berries and ice cream.
Makes 8-12 servings.
Submitted By: Moira
June 8, 2003.
Click here to view recipe and photo of Moira's Chocolate Pie on Diana's Desserts
4TH Of July Desserts
Cherry Pie Sorbet
Comments: This is bound to become a favorite, a sweet cherry sorbet with just a
little touch of lemon to give it that zing. Perfect for serving after a picnic
or barbeque on the 4th of July, or for dessert on any warm summer's day.
Servings: Makes 6 servings, about 3 cups
For the Sorbet:
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling and topping
cup frozen cherry juice blend concentrate, thawed, undiluted
2 tablespoon fresh
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mini semisweet chocolate chips
Toasted slivered almonds
Put cherry pie filling, cherry juice blend concentrate, lemon
juice, lemon peel and almond extract in the container of an electric blender or
food processor. Cover and process 15 to 20 seconds, or until smooth.
Pour mixture into a 9x9x2-inch pan or other shallow container. Cover with
aluminum foil and freeze overnight. (Mixture becomes slushy, but never freezes
Stir cherry mixture with a fork before serving. Scoop into serving bowls and
garnish with toppings. Store remaining cherry sorbet in freezer.
Makes 6 servings; about 3 cups.
Click here to view recipe and photo of Cherry Pie Sorbet on Diana's Desserts
All-American Apple Pie
Comments: You really can't serve anything more patriotic than Apple Pie for
dessert on the 4th of July. I can't think of anyone that doesn't love a piece of
apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (ala mode). You can't go wrong
with this favorite combination.
Makes 8 servings
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
tablespoons (or more if needed) ice water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored,
Additional Ingredients For Top Crust:
For the Crust:
Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add
butter and shortening and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles
coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form,
adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball; divide into
2 pieces. Flatten each into disk. Wrap each in plastic and chill 2 hours. (Can
be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling
For the Filling:
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 400
degrees F (200 C). Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add apples and toss to
Rolling out Dough and Assembling Pie:
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface
to 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch (23cm) in diameter pie dish. Fold edge
under, forming high-standing rim; crimp. Add filling. Roll out second dough disk
on floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into twelve 1-inch-wide strips. Arrange
6 strips across pie. Form lattice by arranging 6 strips diagonally across first
strips. Gently press ends into crust edges. Brush lattice with milk. Sprinkle
lightly with additional sugar.
Bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 C). Continue
baking until juices bubble thickly and crust is deep golden, covering edges with
foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool on rack 1 hour.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or a little sweetened whipped cream. Can be made 8
hours ahead. Let cool on rack.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: Diana's Desserts
Click here to view recipe and photo of All-American Apple Pie on Diana's
Watermelon Ribbon Basket Salad
This Watermelon Ribbon Basket Salad makes a spectacular presentation
to serve at a picnic or barbeque, or even at an outdoor brunch. It's filled with
melon balls, grapes, and strawberies, and goes well with a glass of champagne or
sparkling cider. Making it is not as difficult as it looks and everyone will
really love it.
Makes 12-15 servings
1 large oval shaped watermelon, weighing about 15 pounds
2 honeydew melons
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
2 teaspoons finely
grated lime zest
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
cups green or red seedless grapes, washed and dried
For Garnish, (optional)
Whipped cream or frozen whipped topping, thawed
Cream (vanilla flavor goes well with this melon salad)
PREPARING THE WATERMELON RIBBON BASKET:
1) Select an oval-shaped
watermelon. If necessary, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the watermelon so
it sits level.
2) Draw a straight line (just above the middle) lengthwise around
the watermelon for the baskets edge.
3) Draw a handle diagonally across the top
as shown in the photograph.
4) Draw a bow as shown on the photograph so that one
edge of the bow is connected to the baskets edge.
5) Cut and remove the top
sections leaving the handle and the bow intact.
6) Scoop out the flesh from
inside the watermelon with a melon baller leaving a trace of red on the inside
of the watermelon. Drain the watermelon before filling.
PREPARING THE FRUIT SALAD:
Slice the melons in half, and scoop out seeds. With a
melon baller, scoop out flesh from cantaloupes and honeydews (or other melon
types, if using).
In a large bowl, combine sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, vanilla extract, orange
liqueur (optional) and lime zest. Stir well.
Add all melon balls (including the watermelon balls), strawberries and grapes
and toss to combine.
Allow fruit to chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Just before serving, transfer fruit salad to watermelon basket.
Serve the watermelon fruit salad in dessert cups or glass goblets as a
refreshing and colorful summer dessert, or as a special dish for a mid-day
brunch or an afternoon picnic or early evening barbeque.
Top each serving with a scoop of whipped cream, or ice cream, and garnish each
with a mint sprig.
Tip: It is important to purchase watermelons that are fully ripe, since they
don't continue to ripen once they have been picked. A ripe melon feels heavy for
its size and has a sweet, fresh fragrance.
Makes 12-15 servings.
Source: Diana's Desserts
Click here to view recipe and photo of Watermelon Ribbon Basket Salad on Diana's
FOOD TIPS AND INFORMATION - SUMMER BERRIES
Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries
Selecting, Storing and Serving Blueberries,
Blackberries and Raspberries
One of the highlights of summer is enjoying the
bounty of luscious berries. July is the peak month for blackberries and
raspberries. Blueberries are in season from mid-July through mid-September.
Blueberries should be plump and firm with a dark blue
color and waxy, silvery "bloom."
A dull appearance or soft juicy berries means
the fruit is old. The berries should be sweet and full flavored. Sweetness
varies by variety.
Raspberries may be red, black, yellow or purple. The red
raspberry is the first to ripen, followed by black and then purple and yellow.
Some varieties produce two crops a year and are called everbearing or
Ripe raspberries should be large, bright, shiny, uniform in color
and ripeness, attractive, firm and of good quality. Taste varies from tart to
sweet depending on the variety and maturity.
Upon ripening, blackberries become dull-black in color
and are just beginning to soften and get sweet. Fruit is medium to large size.
The small depression in each drupelet should be well filled. They should be
solid and have plump, juicy fruitlets.
Look for stains on containers which indicate crushed or bruised fruit. The
berries should be free of dirt, mold, or decay.
One pint of berries will provide four to five servings of fresh uncooked
STORAGE AND PREPARATION
Handle fruit gently to avoid bruising. Bruising shortens
the life of fruit and contributes to low quality.
Sort carefully and place berries loosely in a shallow container to allow air
circulation and to prevent the berries on top from crushing those underneath.
Berries are highly perishable. Store immediately in the refrigerator.
Do not wash berries before refrigerating.
Store covered containers of berries in
a cool, moist area of the refrigerator, such as in the hydrator (vegetable
keeper), to help extend the usable life of the fruit. Blackberries and
raspberries can be stored one to two days in the refrigerator; blueberries,
three to five days.
TO PREPARE BERRIES
Wash berries gently in cold water. Lift out of water and
Never soak berries in water.
Remove berries which are too soft or
Serve fresh or in your favorite berry recipe.
All three types of berries are good sources of Vitamin C and also
contain small amounts of Vitamin A and calcium.
Calories per 1/2 cup of
unsweetened berries Equal:
Puree raspberries, sieve out seeds and use as a melba sauce over
peaches, ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Top fresh berries with plain nonfat yogurt and granola for a delicious
breakfast, snack or dessert.
Bake berries into muffins, pies, crisps, or cobblers.
To reduce fat in the diet, choose one-crust berry pie recipes over those with
Combine raspberries into a fresh lettuce and mushroom salad. Top with a
A few berries go a long way when combined with other fruits in a salad or
A Recipe For Oat 'n Blueberry Drop Scones
Comments: These scones are great for anyone who is health-conscious. They are
made with oat bran; margarine instead of butter, egg whites (if you choose to
not use the 2 whole eggs), honey, buttermilk, and of course delicious fresh
1-1/2 cups oat bran
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup margarine
2 whole eggs OR 2 egg whites
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon imitation rum extract or flavoring
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Lightly grease one baking
sheet. Mix oat bran, flour, brown sugar and baking soda. Cut in margarine. Beat
eggs (or egg whites), then beat in honey. Add buttermilk and extracts to egg
mixture. Pour into oat bran mixture and stir only until moistened. Stir in
blueberries. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake in 400 degrees F (200
C) oven 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 16 scones.
Source: The Ohio State University, Extention Fact Sheet, Human Nutrition and
Click here to view recipe and photo of Oat 'n Blueberry Drop Scones on Diana's
Until Next Month
Well, that's it for now for July's Diana's Desserts Newsletter. I am glad that I
could share with you some of my favorite tasty dessert recipes for this first
full month of summer, and for the 4th of July Independence Day Holiday. I hope
that you gained some new knowledge on the different types of summer berries
I am looking forward to receiving your guest submitted recipes for August, and
if you have comments on this newsletter or for Diana's Desserts website, please
feel free to contact me. I enjoy receiving emails from you. My email address is
at the bottom of this page.
When you visit Diana's Desserts Website next, take a look at my Diana's Desserts
Logo Kitchen Aprons and Diana's Desserts Logo Kitchen Towels. (See Link Below)
I'll be back in August with more summertime dessert recipes, and with some good
ideas I hope, for desserts to prepare for your Labor Day Weekend holiday
barbeques, picnics, etc. Labor Day Weekend begins on Saturday August 30th, and
ends on Monday (Labor Day) September 1st.
Have a great month, and have a Happy, Healthy and Safe 4th of July.