Everyday Gourmet: Simple summer sweets

By Kim Dannies

This is your moment to let summer’s bounty of gorgeous ingredients do the work while you take the bows (or lie in the hammock with a gin & tonic). Red ripe tomatoes studded with sea salt; grilled zucchini, eggplant and onions glistening in olive oil and rosemary; local salad greens; cold cubed watermelon– easy food that’s fast to the table and kind to the waistline. This leaves plenty of room to enjoy a quotidian summer sweet. A bite of fresh berry crumble or lemon tart is the essence of summer in every spoonful.

Summer Cottage Crumble

My mom whipped up this gem up at the lake last week—it is so yummy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-inch glass pie plate combine: 3 chopped Pa. peaches; 1 cup blueberries; 12 pitted cherries; 1 teaspoon cornstarch; 2 T sugar; and the zest of one lemon. Melt 2 T of butter and combine with 1 cup commercial granola mix, 1 T flour and a pinch of cinnamon. Sprinkle granola mixture over the fruit. Bake 25 minutes or until it bubbles. Top with vanilla ice cream.

Almond Tart Crust

Spray 9-inch tart pan with nonstick spray. In a food processor, combine: 1 cup flour; one-half cup sliced almonds; one-fourth cup sugar; and one-fourth teaspoon kosher salt. Add 6 T of unsalted butter, cubed and cold; add 1 teaspoon almond extract, then pulse to blend. Dribble in 3-5 T of ice water until dough forms. Pack dough into a sheet of plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough, place in pan, trim, and freeze for 20 minutes. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Pucker-up Lemon Curd

Whisk together in a saucepan: 3 whole eggs; 3 egg yolks; 1 cup sugar; three-fourths cup fresh lemon juice; 2 T lemon zest; a pinch of salt; 6 T unsalted butter, cubed. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until filling thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour into pre-baked crust and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool tart for 30 minutes. Load up the cooled tart with fresh berries and peaches; top with whipped cream or mascarpone.


Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France.  She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to