1 On the Today Show this week, I showed Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker a sampling of quick dessert recipes from the May issue of Everyday Food.
2 Before the beginning of each segment, I am briefed by my producers so there will be no surprises.
3 Because these appearances are so brief and because we like to show as much as possible, it's important to have all the ingredients laid out and neatly labeled.
4 I explained that these desserts were easy to create from items many people already have in their freezer.
6 Puff pastry is a great freezer favorite to have on hand. To make the crust, simply thaw, roll out, and bake until golden in a 400-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.
7 Cook pineapple, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Purée and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Add powdered gelatin to the mix to thicken. Then, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold into the pineapple mixture.
8 Spread that mixture over the baked puff pastry and top with sliced mango and toasted coconut.
9 Cut into ten squares and serve.
10 Delicious, colorful, and so easy!
12 Instead of making spongecake, you can save some time by using frozen waffles. Any type of frozen waffle will work, but I like Belgian waffles for their large nooks and crisp texture.
13 With that time saved,you should really make your own pudding. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, cream, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-high, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling, 6 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for 1 minute.
14 Pass the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl, stir in butter and vanilla, then refrigerate until firm. Start layering in a trifle dish or other large bowl beginning with the chilled pudding.
15 Alternate layers with strawberries that are tossed with sugar.
16 As well as whipped cream, made by beating heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
17 And, of course, the Belgian waffles, which have been toasted and cut or torn into large one-inch pieces.
18 Repeat until you reach the top and refrigerate the whole dessert for at least two hours before serving.
19 A traditional trifle dish, with its straight sides, allows you to see each wonderful layer.
22 Toss frozen blueberries with 1/4-cup granulated sugar, lemon juice, and flour. In another bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth.
23 Spoon some of the cream cheese mixture and blueberries onto pie dough. Brush edges with cream and crimp to close. Cut a small vent hole, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
25 To make cups, lay 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface (cover remaining sheets with a damp towel). Brush phyllo with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Lay on 2 more sheets, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon-sugar. Cut into squares and bake in a muffin pan.
26 Any of these recipes can easily be adapted to use other fresh or frozen fruit that you may have on hand. Be creative!
27 It always feels like my time on the Today Show goes by too fast!