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Delicious Desserts to Make at Home

Apr 9, 2008
The quickest of all desserts, and one of the best after a hearty meal, is compounded of a bowl of fresh fruit, sharp knives, and finger bowls. Next comes store-bought ice cream with some type of sauce or dressing. This in turn is followed by fresh fruit in combination, and/or dressed in one way or another. The following recipes are a bit more complicated and are three of the best.

Bananas Senegalese- SERVES 4

A Swiss gentlewoman, married in Tangier to an American army officer, and now living in Dakar, sent me this recipe from darkest, or nearly darkest, Africa with the admonition that it should be made only to the deep beating of tom-toms and the high thin wail of a conch-shell horn. If you can arrange the necessary musical accompaniment and have the ingredients, you can make a pretty, sweet, mildly alcoholic, and, therefore, desirable dessert. In the absence of authentic African instruments, I have successfully used an old recording of Ravel's "Bolero." The bananas should be firm.

4 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup green creme de menthe
3 tablespoons brown sugar
l6 maraschino cherries
1/2 teaspoon butter

Grease a large shallow baking or ovenproof serving dish lightly with butter. Cut the bananas in half lengthwise, and lay them, flat side down, on the dish. Pour the green mint over them, and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Garnish with the cherries. Place the dish under a medium broiler flame (400 degrees) for about seven minutes. Serve hot.

Cherries Jubilee - SERVES 6

One of the great classic desserts, with no superior and few peers, Cherries Jubilee is an ideal recipe. It is quick, it has glamour, it is good, and, because it should always be prepared at the table, it allows the chef to demonstrate his skill with a chafing dish, a euphemism for showing off. To this end he should equip himself with a long-handled or "devil-eating" spoon and a high-proof rum. This is a spectacular dessert which can be made even more spectacular by darkening the room while it is being prepared and served.

1 large tin Bing cherries
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup rum

Drain the cherries and discard the juice. Place the cherries in the top pan of a chafing dish. Pour the brandy and rum over them, cover, and bring slowly to a boil. While the liquor is heating, serve the ice cream in six individual dishes. As soon as the liquor has reached the boiling point, uncover and set it alight. Let it burn for a few seconds, while you spoon it over the cherries. Ladle them, with a goodly quantity of the flaming liquid, over the ice cream, and serve at once.

Eve's Dessert - SERVES 4

The fact that this dessert contains an apple might lead to the erroneous impression that its name somehow derives from that. The dish was invented by a charming teacher named Eve, who, being the sort of person she is, receives many apples, all highly polished. She seldom uses these apples for making her dessert but keeps them on her desk to throw at recalcitrant children, hoping thus to prevent the spread of juvenile delinquency. The dessert itself - made with apples charged to her husband - she has served to the equal delectation of PTA members, casual diners, and gourmets.

1 cup cherries
1 apple
1 cup melon balls
1 cup strawberries
3/4 pint sour cream
6 large macaroons
3 tablespoons brown sugar

The macaroons should be stale rather than fresh so they will better reduce to large crumbs. Pit the cherries and chop the apple coarsely. Place all the fruit in a serving bowl. Put the sour cream into a mixing bowl, add the crumbled macaroons and the brown sugar. Mix the ingredients well, and pour the mixture over the fruit, stirring it thoroughly. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving.

These desserts never fail to delight.
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