Desserts For Spring
The best spring desserts showcase the ripe juicy fruits of the season. Apricots, mango, and lemons are at their peak sweetness and deliciously begging for a prime spot on your spring dessert menu. Here are three scrumptious spring desserts that are sure to impress.
Three Cheese Honey Apricot Cheesecake
Beautiful, ripe, and juicy apricots are a tasty contrast to the dreamy creamy white cheese filling. The combination of goat, ricotta, and Neufchatel cheeses give this delicious cheesecake an irresistible depth of flavor.
- 1 cup ginger snap crumbs
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 (8-ounce) package goat cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel, softened at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups light cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 apricots, halved, pit removed, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap the outside of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil (this will prevent water from the water bath to leak into pan). Set a kettle of water on to boil.
- Combine ginger snap crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Evenly distribute on the bottom of the pan and press down using your hands. Bake for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack while you prepare remaining ingredients.
- Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cheeses, lemon zest and sugar, until smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in cream and vanilla, stopping to scrape down bowl a couple of times.
- Pour batter into springform pan. Set a roasting pan or baking dish on the middle rack in the oven and place springform pan in the center of it. Fill roasting pan or baking dish half way up with boiling water.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the edges of cheesecake have set but the center is just a little jiggly. Turn oven heat off and crack the oven door. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Remove springform pan from oven and run a knife between the edge of the cheesecake and the sides of the springform pan. Let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Remove foil, cover top of pan, and refrigerate overnight.
- Combine apricots, honey, and cinnamon, tossing to combine. Refrigerate along with the cheesecake.
- Remove the sides of the springform pan and place cheesecake on a serving plate. You can top the entire cheesecake with apricot mixture or serve slices generously garnished with apricot mixture.
Lemon Chiffon Cake
- 5 large lemons, at room temperature
- 2-1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place lemons on the counter and use the heel and palm of your hand to firmly roll them on the counter. This will make them easier to juice.
- Using a microplane grater, remove about 1-1/2 tablespoons zest from 1 lemon. Juice the remaining lemons to get 1 cup juice.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 3/4 cup lemon juice.
- Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and stir well to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, gently fold about one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until just blended.
- Pour batter into a 10-inch angel food cake pan. Bake 1 hour or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert cake in pan onto a metal funnel or bottle. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners' sugar, vanilla, remaining lemon zest, and about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Adjust consistency of glaze by adding more lemon juice, if needed. Glaze should be spreadable but thin enough to slowly run down the sides of the cake.
- When ready to serve, remove cake from angel food pan and place on a serving plate. Spoon lemon glaze over cake and spread glaze with the back of a spoon, allowing it to run down sides of cake. Let stand until glaze is set, then slice and serve.
Mango Coconut Hand Pies
- 4 large, ripe, soft mangoes, pitted, peeled, diced
- Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Confectioner's sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease a baking sheet.
- In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, combine mangoes, lemon juice and zest, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Mash mangoes and drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.
- Unfold puff pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 squares.
- Evenly divide mango mixture among the puff pastry squares. Sprinkle with coconut.
- Fold squares over mango filling to form triangles. Seal the edges by pressing together with the back of a fork.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
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