Tag Archives: fruit

Lightened Up Fresh Strawberry and Lemon Tart

Written by Chris -

Lemon Spring Tart Recipe

Lemon tarts and pies are perennial favorites, and this Spring Fruit Tart has garnered 5-star status by meals.com visitors since it was first released in 2005. Topped with seasonal fruit, this tart features fresh squeezed lemon juice in a velvety cream cheese filling atop a delectable graham crust.

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Tart Recipe

Last week I made our Spring Fruit Tart recipe, but used 1/3 less fat cream cheese along with fat free La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk in place of their full-fat counterparts. These minor changes cut the fat by 45% and calories by 10%. The fresh lemon still shined brightly through and the filling was every bit as creamy. I was so happy with the results I wanted to share this new, lighter version with you!

Let’s talk fruit. No tart is complete without fresh seasonal fruit. Or in this case, strawberries. When purchasing fresh strawberries, it’s best to go straight to source. Nothing beats farm-fresh produce! The strawberries I used came from our local farm in Oxnard, CA.

When selecting, choose bright, plump strawberries with green caps attached. I’ve found that smaller strawberries are usually sweeter. As well, those that are uniform in size always look best on a tart.

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Tart Recipe

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Tart

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 whole graham cracker rectangles, finely crushed (it’s best to use whole graham crackers and crush them yourself since these are always the freshest)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) NESTLÉ LA LECHERA FAT FREE Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 package (8 ounces) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (about 1 ½ medium lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Spray 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.

COMBINE graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in medium bowl; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes.

BEAT sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese in large mixer bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and lemon peel. Pour over crust; gently smooth down top.

BAKE for 28 to 30 minutes or until filling is set. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Tart Recipe

ARRANGE strawberries over tart. Remove rim of pan; slice into wedges. Makes 12 servings.

Here’s a little tip on how to remove the rim of the tart pan. Set a wide can, like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes, on a flat surface. Set the cooled tart and pan on top of the can. Hold the pan ring and gently pull it downward – the can will support the pan base and the tart as you remove the ring. Viola!

Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Tart Recipe


Related recipes:

Frozen Lemonade Cupcakes Recipe White Chocolate-Mascarpone Key Lime Pie Recipe
Frozen Lemonade
Cupcakes Recipe
White Chocolate-Mascarpone
Key Lime Pie

Homage to Julia Child: Lemon Loaf Cake with Grilled Peaches

Written by Chris -

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe from Baking with Julia

Legendary chef Julia Child would have turned 100 tomorrow, on August 15. It seems like yesterday I was waiting in line to meet her at a local book signing. She is truly a culinary inspiration and has touched all our lives in so many ways. I continue to find myself chuckling at her many great quotes! I just came across this one (below) at Sur La Table.

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe from Baking with Julia

Today, I will be celebrating her fabulous life with a recipe from her Baking with Julia cookbook. This is one of my favorite books – it’s a great how-to all-purpose book! There are several contributors, master baker Norman Love of the Ritz-Carlton, being one. He created this delicious Lemon Loaf Cake recipe (made with butter and cream!). He calls it a cake, but its tight crumb reminds me of a pound cake, making it perfect for toasting, if you so desire.

I’ve made a few additions to this Lemon Loaf Cake throughout the years, like adding Lemon Simple Syrup and a Sweet Cream Icing. When in season, grilled stone fruit makes an excellent accompaniment!

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe

Ingredients needed for 12 to 15 servings:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 3 large lemons
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken. Whisk in the grated zest.

Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly – there’s no need to beat. Sift the flour over the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.

Baking the cake: Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan – it will level itself – and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature right side up on a rack.

You can serve this cake as soon as it cools, although there are those who believe that a pound cake needs a day to ripen. Make a taste test for yourself. In any case, the cake should be sliced with a serrated knife and served in thin slices, a pair to a plate.

Storing: Once cooled, the cake should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep at room temperature for 3 or 4 days or, if double-wrapped, can be frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

Tasty Additions and Serving Suggestions:

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe from Baking with Julia

Lemon Simple Syrup: Combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar with 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves (if you want to make more, just use a 1:1 ratio of sugar and lemon juice). When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a tray or sheet pan; spoon half of the lemon simple syrup over the cake (the other half will be used to serve over the grilled peaches). Allow the cake to cool completely.

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe from Baking with Julia

Sweet Cream Icing: Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons Sweet Cream Flavor NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE NATURAL BLISS All-Natural Coffee Creamer in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Lemon Loaf Cake recipe from Baking with Julia

Grilled Peaches: Preheat grill. Cut 4 firm peaches in half and remove the pits. Place peaches on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill for 3 minutes on each side. Cool then slice and serve with the lemon cake. Drizzle peaches with remaining Lemon Simple Syrup.

Here’s to you, Julia! Happy birthday and bon appétit!


More fruit and dessert recipes:

Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe
Mini Lemon Cup Candies
Grilled Fruit with Apple-Maple Syrup recipe
Grilled Fruit & Apple-Maple Syrup

Frozen Fruit Pop-a-looza: Lime Pops, Fruit Pops & Mocha Pops

Written by Liz -

Java Mocha Frozen Cream Bars recipe

I love national food holidays. What better excuse to have a dinner party and celebration something you haven’t eaten in a long time? August has an abundance of frozen treat holidays: Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Ice Cream Soda Day, Root Beer Float Day, Frozen Custard Day, Ice Cream Pie Day and on and on.

Root Beer Float Day was actually yesterday, which really sounded good, and then I read about some interesting not-root-beer frozen treats. I love frozen anything pops, so I decided to give you some frozen fruit pops — an August Frozen Treat-a-Palooza!

1. Java Mocha Frozen Cream Bars, shown above

Perfect for summer treats! These Java Mocha Frozen Cream Bars take just 20 minutes prep time, then are frozen overnight.

Frozen Lime Pops recipe

2. Frozen Lime Pops

Kids and adults alike will give this tangy, creamy treat an A+. These treats are a healthier choice for an after school snack, weekend sweet, or dessert. And, they are so easy to make, kids will have fun helping prepare them.

Juicy Juice Pops recipe

3. Juicy Juice Pops

Juicy Juice Pops feature luscious fruits and NESTLÉ JUICY JUICE All Natural 100% Juice. These refreshing frozen pops make a cool after-school treat and are great for poolside parties, too.


More frozen treat recipes:

Patriotic Fruit Pops recipe
Patriotic Fruit Pops
Watermelon Ice Cream Bombe recipe
Watermelon Ice Cream Bombe

Summer Grilling: Beat The Heat By Bringing Cooking Outdoors

Written by Liz -

Grilled Fruit with Apple-Maple Syrup recipe

It’s the time of year to retire the oven and do a little backyard cooking, especially with Father’s Day just around the corner! With just a grill and tongs, the great outdoors can provide a natural setting for creative menus. Here are some tips and tricks for firing up your mealtime in the warm months ahead:

  • Arm Yourself with the Right Tools. If it’s always grill season for you, consider investing in a high-quality grill that can be used year after year. Next, buy a set of flat metal skewers—they do not require soaking and they will not fall apart like the wooden ones. The flat edge keeps food from turning, which is an added bonus.
  • Master the Classics. No barbecue is complete without hamburgers and hot dogs. Toasted buns should be placed butter side down for a few minutes until golden brown. Make handmade patties 3⁄4 of an inch thick and use chopped onions, dry onion-soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to season. Hot dogs should be turned often until slightly blistered on all sides. For veggie lovers, portobello mushrooms marinated in equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a tasty alternative.
  • Experiment. Grills are for more than just meat! Pizza, fruits and vegetables gain new appreciation when cooked on an open flame.

Kids and adults will both love this Grilled Fruit with Apple-Maple Syrup as a summertime treat. Brushed with a warm blend of 100% apple juice and pure maple syrup, this grillable dessert is ideal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Fruit with Apple-Maple Syrup

Ingredients for 4 servings:


COMBINE Juicy Juice and syrup in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

PREHEAT grill. Brush fruit lightly with a small amount of syrup. Grill fruit, brushing occasionally with additional syrup, for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until nicely browned.

REMOVE fruit to individual dishes and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with remaining syrup.


Related grilling recipes:

Linguine with Lemon and Grilled Baby Artichokes recipe
Linguine with Lemon and Grilled Baby Artichokes
Grilled Pound Cake with Seasonal Berries and Apple-Ginger Syrup recipe
Grilled Pound Cake with Seasonal Berries & Apple-Ginger Syrup

Cooking Light Recipe Makeover: Lower Fat Piña Colada

Written by Liz -

Cooking Light's Piña Coladas

The June issue of Cooking Light features a recipe makeover for that refreshing summertime treat: Piña Coladas, shown above (photos by Randy Mayor, recipe and content by Cooking Light). They use Carnation evaporated milk to help lower fat but keep the creamy flavor:

“You’ll like our way of losing almost all the sat fat while keeping the delicious coconutty goodness. Freezing the pineapple adds a velvety texture and keeps the cocktail frozen longer. The riper the pineapple, the more concentrated the flavor will be.”

Sounds good to us! Excerpt below is from June 2012 issue of Cooking Light.

Lighter Piña Coladas recipe by Cooking Light

Lighter Piña Coladas

Nothing says “escape” like a creamy, ice-cold piña colada: cocktail in hand, feet in the sand, music in the background (hopefully not that dreadful piña colada song, the last #1 hit of the 1970s, unless it’s a guilty pleasure). Unfortunately, nothing says “better head to the gym” like a piña colada, too: 425 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, most of which comes from the mysterious goo known as cream of coconut. We’ll show you how we kept the vacation-worthy flavor while slashing fat and calories. At just 158 calories, it’s all pleasure, no guilt.

Tip #1: Homemade Coconut Milk

Lighter Piña Coladas recipe by Cooking Light

We make our own infused coconut milk to replace heavy, sugary cream of coconut. This cuts 176 calories and 8 grams of sat fat per drink. Save day-of prep time by doing this step (step 1) the night before.

Tip #2: Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple peaks in summer; it’s sweet, slightly tart, and juicy. Sub fresh fruit for some of the canned juice and save 44 calories per drink. A splash of juice adds more acidity.

Tip #3: Gold Rum

We opted for the darker variety, with its hints of caramel and molasses, which better complement the creamy coconut and tart pineapple.

Piña Colada Recipe for Success

Lighter Piña Coladas recipe by Cooking Light

Freezing the pineapple adds a velvety texture and keeps the cocktail frozen longer. The riper the pineapple, the more concentrated the flavor will be. Get the recipe here.


Related better-for-you frozen cocktail recipes:

Green Jalapeño Margarita recipe
Green Jalapeño Margarita
strawberry margarita recipe
Frosty Strawberry Margaritas

Homemade Ice Cream and a Natural Bliss Recipe Contest

Written by Chris -

Twice the Bliss Recipe Contests

Have you heard the news? Nestlé Coffee-Mate just launched their Twice the Bliss Recipe Contests. Here’s your chance to share your original Natural Bliss recipe with the world. You could be one of their lucky winners and have your recipe published…or you could win a trip to NYC to film your recipe creation with celebrity chef Claire Robinson! Visit their Recipe Contests tab to enter.

Need a little inspiration?

Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

If you follow me on Instragram, you know I’ve been going a little crazy with ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes. And for good reason; hello warm weather! I’ve been using Natural Bliss to replace heavy cream traditionally used in homemade ice cream. Pictured above is Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream made with Vanilla Natural Bliss. I shared this with our staff recently – homerun! Fold in mini chocolate morsels or chopped toasted nuts during the last minute or so of churning for an added treat.

Strawberries & Cream Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Sweet Cream Natural Bliss is used in this Fresh Strawberries & Cream Frozen Yogurt. Natural Bliss acts as the “cream,” macerated strawberries add the depth and nonfat Greek yogurt adds the tartness this frozen yogurt needs. I think this was our staff’s favorite.

Fresh Mango, Coconut, Lime Ice Cream Recipe

This Fresh Mango, Coconut & Lime Ice Cream is a favorite of my daughter (she’s holding the cone in the image above). Fresh mangoes have a luscious texture that becomes velvety when puréed, which makes them well-suited for ice cream. This ice cream has more of sherbet texture, largely due to the fact that we are using refrigerated coconut milk. This milk is a lot thinner and has less fat when compared to canned coconut milk. Canned coconut milk can easily be substituted if you desire more of an ice cream texture.

"No Ice Cream Maker Needed" Berry Ice Cream Recipe

This “No Ice Cream Maker Needed” Berry Ice Cream is a snap to put together. Simply whirl together frozen berries and/or chopped fruit, Lowfat Vanilla Natural Bliss and fat-free milk in a food processor for instant ice cream (a food processor is best for this recipe since the mixture is so thick). Enjoy immediately or transfer to a covered container and freezer for later enjoyment. As it freezes, this ice cream takes on more of a sherbet texture.

I can’t wait to see how you use Natural Bliss!

Also, just a reminder, our All Things Chocolate recipe contest ends June 8. Enter before it’s too late!


More Inspiration:

Thin Vanilla Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
Thin Vanilla Oatmeal
Vanilla Ricotta Crème with Fresh Berries Recipe
Vanilla Ricotta Crème
with Fresh Berries

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