Spring Strawberry Meringue Bites

Spring Strawberry Meringue Bites
Serves 6-12

What’s great about this dessert is that you can make it impressive (on a quarter sheet tray) or individually sized (muffin tin) or bite size (mini muffin tin). Don’t want to use phyllo? Buy prebaked phyllo cups. Jam making intimidating? Use a quality store bought jam. Just a suggestion… make the meringue; you’ll be so impressed with yourself at how easy it is to make-your-own-marshmallow.

1 package phyllo dough
½ stick butter, melted
¾ cup sugar, divided, about ¼ cup for each stage; phyllo, jam & meringue
2 quarts strawberries
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350° F. Using a pastry brush, butter muffin tin or sheet tray.

Unwrap and spread out phyllo and cut in half. If using a quarter sheet tray, use as is. For individual size, cut the half of phyllo into 6 squares, each a bit bigger than one muffin hole. If using mini, cut tinier. Freeze remaining half.

Working in batches, place one square flat, brush with butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Top with another square. Repeat until squares are about ¼” high. Stuff in muffin tins and repeat. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While phyllo bakes (this can also be done ahead of time), hull and cut strawberries. Place in a saucepan and top with ½ of the remaining sugar (from the phyllo, approximately ¼ cup), lemon juice and tarragon. Cook until broken down and jam like consistency. Cool completely.

Add jam to phyllo. Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer until frothy. Slow stream in remaining sugar (again about ¼ cup) until stiff peaks. Top bites with meringue and place under the broiler for frosted look. Just make sure to keep a close eye on them!

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Watermelon Tomato Sorbet

Watermelon Tomato Sorbet
Makes approximately 2 pints

Who can resist a summery sorbet blend of watermelon and tomatoes? 

6 cups cubed seedless watermelon
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
Juice 1 lemon

Place watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. 

Toss with lemon juice and allow the mixture to macerate for 20 minutes or until juices release from the fruit.

Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and strain into an ice cream maker.

Churn as directed by the ice cream maker instructions and transfer a freezable container. 

Keeps for up to 1 week in the freezer.


Watermelon "Cake"

Watermelon "Cake"
Serves 12

Change up the old berries and whipped cream routine with this dessert. Simply remove the rind from your watermelon to create a cake-like shape, frost with whipped cream and top with berries, nuts or chocolate shavings. Make it easier and use store-bought whip topping. Your secret is safe with me.

1 watermelon, either end and rind removed to create traditional cake shape
1 quart heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup slivered almonds

Pat dry watermelon and place on a cake stand. 

Using a hand or stand mixer beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks. 

“Ice” the watermelon and top with nuts.


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Salted Chocolate Covered Watermelon

Salted Chocolate Covered Watermelon
Serves 12

During summer, the thought of dessert can be suspiciously unappealing after a large meal. Substitute the frozen favorite, ice cream, for these sweet-and- salty chocolate dipped watermelon wedges. Kids and adults alike will come running.

12 watermelon wedges, cut into wedges about 1” thick
1 12 oz. bag dark chocolate chips
Maldon sea salt

Pat dry each piece of watermelon using a paper towel and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Slip watermelon into the refrigerator and chill slightly. 

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl situated over a pot of water to create a double boiler. 

Melt chocolate. Alternatively this can be done in a microwave proof bowl, cooking in 30-second intervals, stirring between each round until chocolate is melted. 

Take each watermelon slice and dip or spoon chocolate over and place back on the parchment, allowing the chocolate to harden slightly before sprinkling with desired amount of salt.

Serve right away or chill again for harder chocolate.