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Enjoy Fruity Desserts Year-Round

02/08/2016 02:32AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) During late winter and early spring, limited availability of fresh produce can make it more difficult to enjoy your favorite fruity desserts. Richer, heartier recipes featuring canned or frozen fruits are an easy way to satisfy your cravings until fresh fruits fill the produce aisles again.

If not being able to see and smell the packaged fruit makes you uneasy, just follow this advice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure your canned and frozen fruit meet your expectations.

  • Remember that heavy syrups and sugars add calories. Look for fruits canned or frozen in light syrup or juice instead.
  • Avoid severely dented cans, which may have holes in the metal or loosened seams. Similarly, ensure any twist-off jars are firmly sealed (you should hear a pop when you open them).
  • Be wary of soft frozen fruit; a solid freeze helps retain quality. Also skip stained or damaged packaging, which could be a sign the fruit was thawed and refrozen during transport.
  • Know your labels. Grade A fruits (also called Fancy) offer the best flavors and appearance; Grade C (Standard) fruits are ideal for desserts in which looks matter less, such as cobblers, pudding, etc. Grade B (Choice) falls somewhere in between.

Cobblers and crisps are a delicious way to enjoy fruity desserts during the off season. Or take a less conventional approach to a basic cake, with this quick and simple recipe:

Easy Fruit Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cans fruit pie mix (such as cherry or peach)
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 pound butter, melted
  • Whipped topping (optional)
  • Pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  2. Pour pie mix into baking pan. Spread dry cake mix over mix and top with butter. Scatter small indentations too allow butter to reach bottom.
  3. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Serve topped with whipped topping and nuts, if desired.

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