Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts: Get a Sneak Peek at Our Founder's Latest Cookbook (Her 99th!)
Sweet, tart, juicy, jammy—the star ingredients in these stunning confections are fruits that give us all the autumnal feels. Here are six of the 100-plus recipes you'll discover in our founder's latest book, Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts ($24.49, amazon.com) out September 28, 2021. Sneak a swoon-worthy peek here.
Poached pears are an elegant dessert on their own. But place them on a layer of velvety almond-frangipane custard atop delicate pastry, as is this case in Martha's Pear-and-Frangipane Pastries, pictured above, and they're fit for tea with the Bridgertons. The key to this labor of love is breaking it down into a few steps. You can make and freeze the laminated pastry dough up to two weeks ahead of time. Poach the pears the day before assembling the tarts (or at least four hours prior, so they can soak up the lemon-zest, cinnamon, and vanilla flavors in the syrup). When you're ready to bake, thaw the dough, make rounds with a cookie cutter, mix and spread on the frangipane cream, and nestle in the main events.
Apple-Honey Upside-Down Cake
Consider this Apple-Honey Upside-Down Cake another great reason to go apple-picking this September—or a fun and unexpected twist to serve on Rosh Hashanah, as it's Jewish custom to eat apple slices dipped in honey to ensure the new year will be fruitful and sweet. Those two ingredients define Martha's dessert, which is luscious to look at but a light lift to actually make: Just boil sugar and water together for the quick caramel, then pour it into a pan, layer in the fruit, and add the honey-and-sugar-sweetened batter on top. After the baked cake cools for five minutes, turn it out onto a plate and revel in the golden reveal.
Red-Grape Cake with Whipped Crème Fraîche
Fall in Italy means Olivagando, the annual olive-oil-harvest festival, when growers celebrate their haul with a cake topped with grapes—a symbol of abundance since ancient times. Now we can all observe the height of the fruit's season stateside, thanks to this delicious Red-Grape Cake with Whipped Crème Fraîche that's studded with masses of them. Butter and sour cream replace the original's olive oil and add richness to the simple batter, which is then packed with seedless grapes and baked into a thin layer. Devour it as is, or dress it up with a few dollops of whipped crème fraîche and a fresh bunch or two.
Sour-Cherry Crumble Bars
Imagine a homemade cherry pie you can grab and eat on the go. Poof! Your wish has been granted. Instead of messing with a piecrust, you mix up a four-ingredient dough and divide it. Press about half into the bottom of a buttered pan, pour on the cherry filling (the tart-sweet jewels get stirred together with lemon juice, sugar, salt, and a little flour), and break up the rest of the pastry over that, squeezing some into larger clumps to create a big, buttery crumb topping. Slip the finished Sour-Cherry Crumble Bars into lunch boxes, pass them out after dinner, or enjoy one with coffee for breakfast—because in our book, it counts as a serving of fruit.
Tropical-Fruit Crepe Cake
If they like piña coladas, and gorgeous sweets for dessert, they'll go gaga for this Tropical-Fruit Crêpe Cake layered with coconut-infused pastry cream. You can make the filling—which involves simmering milk with flaked coconut for maximum flavor; straining it through a sieve; whisking it into sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks; and cooking it into a thick cream—and the crêpes (all 40 of them) up to three days ahead. Store both in the fridge until you're ready to stack; then layer each thin tier with cream, and top off the tower with sliced pineapple and toasted shaved coconut.
Ruffled Pumpkin Milk Pie
This ode to a classic Greek galatopita, or milk pie, will knock the socks off your friends who order pumpkin-spice everything. Martha's Ruffled Pumpkin Milk Pie is also the ideal exposure therapy if you're new to baking with phyllo. You simply brush sheets of it with clarified butter, scrunch them into accordion-like shapes, and arrange them in a spiral in the pan. (In other words, precision is a moot point.) Once you've got your phyllo base, blind-bake it to crisp up the top, then pour a cardamom-infused pumpkin-purée custard over it and bake it again to set. The custard soaks through the pastry, yielding a rippling centerpiece that'll tide you over till Thanksgiving.
From the book Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts: 100+ Delicious Ways to Savor the Best of Every Season, by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2021 by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Available September 28, 2021.