It's helpful to keep a few things on hand that you can grab for a quick dessert, especially if you have unexpected company for dinner or at tea time.
The Three-Ingredient-or-Less-Dessert Pantry
• Pints of good quality ice-cream in simple flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry
• Simple store-bought cookies like Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Thins and meringues
• Fresh fruit
• Mascarpone or greek yogurt
• Bars of good quality chocolate
• Dried fruit
• Whipping cream
What To Do with Them
• Affogato: (hot espresso poured over vanilla ice cream)
• Vanilla ice-cream, served with ginger thin cookies and roasted almonds
• Eton Mess: whipped cream with sliced fresh strawberries and crushed meringues stirred in.
• Fool: Whipped cream with sugared fresh fruit (usually berries) swirled in, often served in pretty glasses. Raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc all make delicious fools.
• If you have any leftover rice, reheat it with with coconut milk and a little sugar for rice pudding. You can also top this with fruit (but that would make four ingredients!)
• Scatter good quality chocolate bars, pass bowls of dried fruit and nuts. In the summer, serve fresh fruit.
• Mascarpone: Sweeten with sugar, honey, agave and spoon onto cookies or fresh fruit.
• Spread Nutella on slices of brioche toast, cut into triangles. (Optional: top with sliced banana.)
• Melon with Ginger Chili Syrup: Slice a melon into wedges and deseed. Drizzle with ginger syrup and sprinkle with finely diced chili. (Optional 4th ingredient: minced mint or basil.)
• Dates stuffed with goat's cheese and topped with a walnut
• Peaches, halved and stoned, simmered in a sweet wine like muscat. Optional: Serve with ice cream or greek-style yogurt or mascarpone.
What do you keep on hand for dessert emergencies? What are some of your favorite quick desserts?
Related: 10 Delicious Bite-Sized Desserts!
(Image: Dana Velden)