Only two of my children will tolerate baked fruit and that has been worrying me lately.
Acceptable: Apple muffins
Not keeping me up at night (nothing can do that, not even imminent global catastrophe) – but you know, I feel a certain responsibility to make sure my children aren’t blanket refusing categories of food and baked fruit seems like a whole category of foods in itself.
Acceptable: banana bread
Apple muffins are tolerated. So is banana bread.
Also acceptable: orange loaf cake
But anything with discernible pieces of baked fruit – blueberry muffins for example, even these perfect blueberry muffins by Smitten Kitchen, are deemed unacceptable. So too my favourite crumble. This had to change.
What kind of monster doesn’t like a good apple and blackcurrant crumble? I blame the mother
Anyway I decided that perhaps it was the type of fruit causing us a problem. Not everyone here likes fresh blueberries…ergo it is perhaps unsurprising that not everyone here likes baked blueberries.
Strawberries though, everyone likes strawberries.
And then – serendipitously, as though she read my mind, Deb Perelman posted a photo of a summer baked strawberry cake on Instagram and I was convinced that this would be the ticket to baked fruit nirvana.
Image: Smitten Kitchen
It didn’t disappoint. This is the easiest and most delicious baked fruit dessert I’ve made and I implore you to try it at once.
No careful fruit placement here just a heap of strawberries and a delicious result
In fact now that I’m revisiting these photos I may have to make it again today.
To cut a long, semi-whining story short though, not all my baked-fruit-averse children agreed. Two loved it, one ate around the fruit, and one nameless but particularly determined child refused to even countenance it.
Hasty photo with approaching toddler in the background
Find the recipe here. And actually it seems that Deb has updated the recipe so you can one bowl it, and yield a bigger sheet cake version. I follow the recipe faithfully- although sometimes substitute up to 1/4 of the flour with almond flour or ground almonds, also delicious.
Strawberries seemed to go part of the way to improving our fruit dessert options. Perhaps I had to dial back expectations with non-baked fruit in dessert form.
Image: Pinch of Yum
And this time, pinch of yum read my mind (or more likely, a complex Instagram algorithm worked exactly as intended) – and suddenly on my feed popped up a highly retro fruit pizza.
Everyone likes pizza! (Especially this one)
Everyone likes icing!
Everyone likes strawberries!
This was bound to be a hit.
Reader this fruit pizza situation was delightful and if I didn’t have such concerns around serving fruit piled on top of each other to children who would likely refuse to eat something that had come into contact with something else… then I would have tried to copy something like this:
Image: Lunches and Littles
Instead though, and remembering my audience, I kept it simple with two relatively popular fruits –
Soft baked cookie base, a delicious cream cheese icing and fresh fruit. The recipe is here. An absolute fruit triumph!
You guessed correctly. Even less of a child-approved success – with only one (reliable 9 year old) who loved it, two who would eat the cookie base with all toppings (and icing!) painstakingly scraped off, and one – yes, the same nameless child as before – who would not allow it to be placed in front of them at the table.
Carefully picked non-identifiable-gender-neutral pronouns.
Nevertheless, my awkward children aside, two very easy and absolutely delicious fruit desserts that fully embrace the smug and lazy lifestyle. And really who can complain if their children won’t eat something sugary? (Me).