The Sweet Fruits of Summer

Italian chefs love when the warm weather rolls around, as summer in Italy brings a wealth of deliciously ripe fruits and a variety of mouthwatering ways to serve them. Below are some of our favorite suggestions.

Those looking for a cool, healthy treat, will love a bowl of White Peach Granita, an icy dessert that is full of fruit and little else.

With a tart and gooey center, this Plum Crostata appeals to the Italian food lover with an eye on pie. The subtle addition of sliced almonds in its glazed crust gives this pastry a crispy, flaky exterior and a warm, heavenly flavor.

Fresh raspberries are a wonderful treat on their own, but they are even better when baked in delightful muffins and sprinkled with white sugar. These light and airy treats not only make a great dessert, but can also be served for an afternoon brunch.

Italian Cream Cake with Blueberries is a scrumptious dessert that is perfect for your next summer gathering. Creamy and delicious, this cake will not disappoint.

White Peach Granita


Ingredients Preparation
  • Ÿ  2 cups water
  • Ÿ  1 pound ripe peaches, unpeeled
  • Ÿ  ⅓ cup of sugar
  • Ÿ  2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Ÿ  1 drop vanilla extract
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the peaches and sugar, and simmer gently 30 minutes. Allow the peaches to cool thoroughly in the liquid, and pass the contents of the pan through a fine-mesh strainer, scraping the solids to extract as much pulp as possible. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and freeze 45 minutes to 1 hour, scraping the ice crystals that form around the edges into the center every 10 minutes with a spatula. The mixture should be of an even, grainy consistency when ready. To serve, scoop the granita into chilled serving glasses and garnish with mint leaves.

Plum Crostata

Ingredients: Preparation

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water


  • 6 plums, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender, or by hand, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and pour in ice water; work it in to bind the dough until the dough holds together. If it is too crumbly, add more ice water. Form into a disc and wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 450˚F.

Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect; free form is what you want for this rustic tart. Transfer it to a baking sheet.

To make the filling, pit and slice plums thinly. Toss the slices with the filling ingredients. Toss the mixture to gently coat plums. Spoon the mixture into the center of the dough leaving a 2-inch boarder all around. Brush the border with the egg wash. Gently fold the border over the plums to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle. Brush the crust with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and almonds.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 min, until the crust is golden and the plums are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

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