Fruity Desserts Hit the Spot


Lighter than ice cream, but cool and fruity, these homemade desserts are sure to please on a sweltering summer day.

Lighter than ice cream, but cool and fruity, these homemade fruity desserts are sure to please on a sweltering summer day. And a good opportunity to enjoy the summer produce showing up at the farmers’ markets. There are dairy as well as parve options, while two highlight luscious lemons.

Peach-Berry Delight
1    lb. ripe peaches
3 1⁄2    pint baskets fresh strawberries, hulled
1⁄3    cup sugar
3    Tbsps. water
1    cinnamon stick (or substitute 1 tsp.ground cinnamon)
3    pints frozen vanilla yogurt
8    strawberry halves
chopped almonds (optional)
Peel the peaches by blanching them briefly in boiling water and then plunging them into cold water. Remove the pits and cut into small pieces.
Place peaches, strawberries, sugar, water and cinnamon stick in medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 7 to 8 minutes or until peaches are soft.
Pour into a container and cover. Chill in refrigerator for at least a few hours.
Remove cinnamon stick. Spoon half of the sauce into 8 parfait glasses. Top with half of the frozen yogurt. Top each again with the sauce, then another layer of frozen yogurt.
Top each dessert with a strawberry half and chopped almonds, if desired.
Serves 8.

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream
(Dairy or Pareve)
4    large lemons
1    cup dairy or pareve whipping cream, whipped
1⁄2    cup sugar
1    Tbsp. grated lemon peel
mint leaves, strawberries, and lemon zest for garnish
Cut about 1⁄3 off the end of each lemon. Carefully juice the lemons, setting aside 1⁄3 cup strained juice. Scrape shells clean with a spoon and freeze until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, combine whipped cream and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Blend in lemon peel and reserved juice. Pour into a shallow pan. Freeze for 4 hours, or until firm.
Spoon into frozen lemon shells. To serve, garnish with fresh mint leaves and a few strands of lemon zest.
Serves 4.

Kiwi Sorbet
1    cup water
1⁄2    cup sugar
8    kiwis
2    Tbsps. lemon juice
1    tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Peel kiwis. Puree in a blender or food processor. Combine with water and sugar mixture along with lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour mixture into a shallow container. Place in freezer for 11⁄2 hours. Remove the pan and scrape ice from the sides to the center of the container. Stir.
Return to freezer for 30 or so minutes and scrape and stir again. Stir again if mixture becomes too firm.
Serve in dessert glasses.
Serves 6.

Lemony-Orange Sorbet
Israeli children call this refreshing dessert “sleet.”
    1    tsp. grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
    1    cup sugar
    2    cups water
        pinch of salt
    1    cup orange juice (from about 3 medium oranges)
1⁄8    cup lemon juice (from 1 small lemon)
strawberries and/or fresh mint leaves (optional)
Combine the orange zest and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
Chill for at least two hours.
Add orange and lemon juice. Combine well. Pour into a shallow plastic container or into 3 ice cube trays. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until almost frozen solid.
Remove from freezer and puree for 45 seconds in food processor or blender. Return to freezer container and keep frozen until about 10 minutes before use.
Spoon into individual dishes and garnish with fresh strawberries and/or mint leaves.
Serves 6.

Cantaloupe-Lime Smoothie
1    lime
 2    cups diced cantaloupe
1⁄3    cup diced peaches
1    Tbsp. honey
3    ice cubes
From lime, grate 1⁄2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice.
In blender, combine lime peel, lime juice, cantaloupe, peach, honey and ice and blend until mixture is smooth and frothy.
Serves 1.

Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie
3    cup frozen strawberries
2 1⁄4    cups milk
 2 1⁄4    cups pineapple juice
1 1⁄2    cups vanilla yogurt
1⁄4    cup and 2 Tbsps. sugar
 18    ice cubes
 1    Tbsp. wheat germ (optional)
Blend the strawberries, milk, pineapple juice, vanilla yogurt, sugar, ice and wheat germ in a blender until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Serves 6.

Really Raspberry
 1 1⁄2    cups firm tofu
3    cups apple juice
 3    cups frozen raspberries
1⁄4    cup and 2 Tbsps. raspberry jelly
4 1⁄2    bananas, frozen and chunked
3⁄4    tsps. almond extract
In a blender, combine tofu, apple juice, frozen raspberries, jelly, frozen bananas and almond extract. Blend until smooth.
Serves 6.

Mango-Strawberry Smoothie
 1    cup fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries
1    cup mango or apricot nectar, chilled
1⁄2    cup plain or vanilla yogurt
4    ice cubes
In a blender, combine strawberries, mango nectar, yogurt and ice. Blent until mixture is smooth and frothy.
Serves 2. 

Rivka Tal is a former Minne­sotan who has lived in Jerusalem for the past 46 years. She is a food writer and translator. Email her at: talriv@


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