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posted: 8/18/2011 12:01 AM

Desperate and delicious dessert

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  • For an easy and versatile summer dessert, turn to Creamy Tart with Pecan Crust and Berries.

      For an easy and versatile summer dessert, turn to Creamy Tart with Pecan Crust and Berries.
    Alicia Ross/Desperation Dinners

 
 

Desperate desserts are hard to come by. Bakers know that cutting time out of baking or prepping is a recipe for disaster. But even desperate cooks need dessert.

Today's quick and easy recipe is just in time for the final hurrah of summer's fresh berries. Sure, we can buy berries nearly all year, but nothing is more satisfying than berries fresh from the vine or bush. They cost a fraction of their January prices, too!

This simple, creamy tart highlights the taste of whatever fresh berries you have available. Try strawberries topped with a sprig of mint. I love a combination of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, but any one of them can serve as the single attraction.

The secret to success is to coarsely chop the fruit about 30 minutes before serving and sprinkle just a taste of sugar on top.

Stir well and let the berries stand at room temperature. Instantly, the berries and sugar make a dessert sauce that's worthy of the finest bakeries.

Smothering berries in jam or fruit preserves to form a sauce or to brighten desserts as toppers is not necessary; the jam usually hides the distinctive berry flavor.

So, looking for a good, simple berry dessert of your dreams? Just add fruit and a sprinkle of sugar to this delicious, mild tart.

• Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" Write them at tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Or visit the Desperation Dinners website, kitchenscoop.com.

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