This week we're continuing our series on Summer dinner party inspiration. Summer is officially here and we can't wait to celebrate!
I love hosting dinner parties and having friends and family over for no special occasion and Summer is always a good time to host a gathering. Everyone is always in such a good mood when the weather is warm and entertaining can be laid-back and easy.
Developing a delicious Summer menu for my gatherings is usually easy...until I arrive at the last course -- dessert! Summer desserts are difficult for me. I usually don't want to turn on the oven and slave over it for hours like I might in the colder Winter months. But I still want something satisfying and sugary to offer my guests. (I also don't usually buy pre-made desserts, so opting for a store-bought solution is not often in the cards.)
So, here are my choices for satisfying Summer desserts. Ye, some of them require the use of an oven, but I promise they're not intensive or painstaking recipes!
I love eating berries during the Summer. And while I usually don't love fruit in desserts, there's something about fruit in Summer desserts that is both refreshing and satisfying.
The recipe for this tart is simple, and the finished product is beautifully rustic and delicious. A winning combination for a Summer dinner party!
Chocolate Mousse Pie
If you're in the mood for chocolate (and let's be real, who isn't?), then this no-bake mousse pie is a great option. It's one of my husband's favorite desserts so it does make appearances on our table from time to time.
While I usually shy away from chocolate-heavy desserts during the Summer, if I'm having a large crowd or guests who I know really love chocolate, I will definitely make one of these pies.
(Side note: this is a PRIME example of why home-made is better than store-made. You really taste the difference in this pie!)
Thanks to my CSA box (Spiral Path Farm for the win!), I discovered the wonders of rhubarb this year. I feel as if rhubarb is that vegetable that people pretend to know something about but no one is really sure exactly what it is. In fact, after making this crisp a couple of weeks ago, I'm still not exactly sure what else this red celery looking plant would be good for, but at least we can say it makes a delicious dessert!
My rhubarb crisp turned out delicious (I used the recipe linked below). The tart and sweet flavors really brightened our palates and provided a wonderful ending to our grilled summer meal. I suggest you try it sometime. You might just be surprised by the power of rhubarb.
(One side note: I recommend cutting your rhubarb pieces smaller than Martha suggests so that they blend in with the other ingredients better.)
Sheet Pan S'mores
One could argue that every Summer gathering must include s'mores. And I probably would not disagree with that statement.
I love this take on the classic gooey campfire dessert. It's Italian meringue topping kicks things up a notch and its bar-like construction makes this version less messy and (dare I say it) easily consumed with the help of a fork. Perfect for a dinner party if you ask me!
What do you think of these desserts? Are you already craving all of them like I am? Let me know in the comments!