Delectable Summer Desserts

From ice cream to cake, these recipes will help you beat the summer heat

You might dream of barbecue meats and grilled vegetables at summer cookouts, but we all know that one of the best parts of warm weather outdoor dining comes at the end of your meal. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite desserts that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Tiramisu With Strawberries

Recipe by Vito Marcello of Vito Marcello’s Italian Bistro in North Conway.

The decadent tiramisu from the former Bellini’s in North Conway was formidable in size, with a flavorful combination of eggs, mascarpone and cocoa. Today, that Seavey Street location is Vito Marcello’s Italian Bistro. Chef Marcello bought the restaurant in 2010, changing the name but keeping an epic tiramisu on the menu. Marcello did make some changes — he built a beautiful bar and patio, and added his father and grandfather’s Italian recipes to the menu. His tomato sauces are legendary, and can be ordered at If you’d like to skip right to dessert, Marcello shares his summer take on tiramisu.

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3 large local eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 pint strawberries, sliced (reserve 4 berries for garnish)
2 tablespoons dark rum
8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
12 ladyfingers (dry ones work best)

Combine the 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon espresso, sugar and rum in a large bowl. Beat 2 to 3 minutes. Add mascarpone and beat until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.

In another clean bowl, combine egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture.

Quickly dip each ladyfinger into remaining espresso and layer on bottom of small glass dish, wine glass or individual parfait cups.

Arrange the strawberries around and over the ladyfingers, spread mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and strawberries, and sprinkle with cocoa. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with strawberries.

Please note: Only use fresh, local eggs to avoid risk of salmonella. If unsure, there are directions on the internet for how to pasteurize them. Pasteurized eggs can also be purchased, but the whites will not whip as quickly.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Recipe courtesy of Steven Ruddock from Riverwalk Café & Music Bar in Nashua.

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups blueberries
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Beat the eggs until light and foamy. Add the sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla, and mix lightly, but well. Combine the flour, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon, and add to the egg-zucchini mixture along with the blueberries. Stir until just blended and pour into two 9x5x3-inch greased loaf pans. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of raw sugar crystals on top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 60-70 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Looking for local blueberries? Click here for a list of NH PYO blueberry farms.

Lemon Zucchini Tea Time Cake with Roasted Hazelnuts

Recipe by Sarah Kenney

At my house, we had trouble eating all of the zucchini we planted last year. If you experience the same problem, then this recipe is the perfect way to use up some of those over-abundant veggies. Enjoy with a local tea at 3 p.m.


Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing
1 3/4 cups shredded zucchini
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Hazelnuts roasted, then roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 275˚F. Grease the inside of a cake pan. Chop 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Slide sheet pan in the oven and let them roast for 7-10 minutes. Set hazelnuts aside to cool and then roughly chop them on cutting board.

Raise oven temperature to 350˚F.Place the zucchini on a kitchen towel and gently squeeze out the excess moisture. Set aside. Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until well-blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined, about 1 minute; do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place cake pan in oven and set timer for 45 minutes or until a wooden stick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool, loosen edges of cake from pan with a knife and then invert the cake onto a wire rack. Once cool, spread cream cheese frosting on top and add blueberries.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 16-ounce bag of powdered sugar (about 4 cups)

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.

Add sugar gradually, beating together each addition until blended.

Sour Cream Ice Cream With Black Cherry Balsamic Drizzle

Recipe by Chef Steffani Adaska

To most, sour cream ice cream sounds a little funky. Don’t judge an ice cream by its contents. This creamy ice cream gets a lovely tang from both the lemon juice and the sour cream. It plays very well with the sweet richness of the Black Cherry Balsamic. You can thank me later.

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Serves 8

24 ounces sour cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For Drizzle
½ cup North Conway Olive Oil Company’s Black Cherry Balsamic
Sliced black cherries (garnish)
Mint (garnish)

Combine sour cream, heavy cream and milk in a large bowl.

Add sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the lemon zest and juice; chill overnight.

Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

While ice cream is churning, make the drizzle. In a shallow saucepan, bring vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the vinegar for about 1 minute, swirling pan a few times as it just begins to evaporate. Cool to room temperature before use.

Scoop ice cream into serving bowls. Drizzle the ice cream with the slightly reduced Black Cherry Balsamic. Garnish with cherries and mint or other seasonal fruit.

Chef’s Note: Do not evaporate too much of the balsamic, otherwise you will end up with an almost “hard candy” clump when it cools.

North Conway Olive Oil Company

Olive oil is the liqueur of the gods. The golden fluid is ripe with nutrients, flavors and the wondrous ability to make ordinary foods memorable. But the quality of oils can vary greatly. At North Conway Olive Oil, care has been taken to offer the most nutritious and fresh oils available, including a recent award-winner, Melgarejo Hojiblanca. Along with great olive oils, co-owners Bill Kittredge and Matt DiBenedetto also offer up to 55 balsamic vinegars sourced from Modena, Italy.

North Conway Olive Oil Company
2730 Whittier Hwy., North Conway
Second location is now open in Settlers Green Outlet Village, (603) 307-1066
Steffani Adaska offers cooking classes, recipe and menu development, and event hosting.

Poached Peaches and Ice Cream

Recipe by Susan Laughlin

In the heat of summer, the combination of juicy peaches and fresh cream is delightful and satisfying — even more so with ice cream. Grab a basket of soft, fragrant peaches from a local farm stand. Check ripeness with a light squeeze; a little give indicates ripeness. For slicing, the freestone variety is easier to halve and cut, while clingstone varieties do just that — the pit is hard to separate from the flesh. Low-acid, white-fleshed peaches, great for mashing up for a bellini, are just as tasty as the yellow-fleshed cultivars. Peaches and nectarines are the same species, and both are members of the rose family, and are a close relative of almonds. Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B and C, while a medium peach contains just 37 calories.

Serves two
3 medium peaches
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons peach schnapps
or Flag Hill Spiced Rum
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar


Ice cream, store-bought or homemade

Whipped cream, in a can or homemade

Toast the walnuts in a saucepan over low heat with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir constantly for a minute or two, and don’t let them scorch. Remove from pan and set aside.

Slice the peaches and toss into the same pan with more butter if necessary. Add the lemon juice, honey and cardamom, and cook while stirring for about 6 to 10 minutes or until the mixture gets syrupy. Add the schnapps or rum and cook briefly.

Pour the peach mixture into low bowls. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maybe some whipped cream too.
Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and enjoy summer.

Categories: Food & Drink, Recipes