With summer in full swing, there’s no better time to load up on seasonal fresh fruit. While we’re as big a fan as the next person when it comes to a slice of watermelon or a bowl of fresh raspberries, these beloved flavors can make any dessert into something special. So, we’ve scoured the area for some of the best fruit desserts, and here are some of our favorite picks. Enjoy! BANANA CREAM PIERedstone GrillIt seems like chocolate is always taking the spotlight when it comes to desserts. But with their distinct, sweet flavor, bananas can hold their own in the dessert game, too. One of our favorite banana-centric sweets is the banana cream pie at Redstone Grill. The toasted nut crust kicks it off, and is filled with sweet and creamy banana custard and fresh bananas ($9). And, of course, what would any dessert be without whipped cream? This little slice of heaven will make you go bananas (sorry, we couldn’t resist!). 8000 Eden Rd.; Eden Prairie; 952.903.9500; redstonegrill.com CINNAMON APPLE DESSERT PIZZAPizza ManWhoever said you couldn’t have pizza for dessert? The folks at Pizza Man in Chaska knew exactly what they were doing when they created the cinnamon apple dessert pizza. This fan favorite is made with the same delicious crust as the regular pizzas, but is topped with fresh apple slices and dusted with cinnamon. Then the whole pizza is drizzled with a vanilla frosting ($6.95). The 10-inch dessert pizza serves about two people. So, if you want to share the wealth with a crowd, we suggest ordering up a few. 1340 Crystal Ln.; Chaska; 952.556.0088; pizzaman.biz KHAO THOUMNa’s Thai CaféThis hidden gem can be found in our own Chanhassen serving up popular Thai dishes like Thai Green Curry. But what you may not know is that Na’s Thai Café boasts some nosh-worthy desserts to boot. We love the Khao Thoum for something different. This traditional Thai dessert mixes steamed sticky rice with sugar and bananas, and is served in beautiful steamed banana leaves ($4.95). Na’s also serves a couple of mango-inspired desserts that you’ll want to try. The Khao Gaum Black is made with the same sweet sticky rice, but mixed with sesame seeds and mango ($4.95). And the sweet sticky rice with mango dessert is soaked in coconut milk and then served with more of that delicious mango ($4.95). If you simply can’t choose a favorite, just order all three! (We won’t tell.) 566 West 78th St., Chanhassen; 952.949.1125; nasthaicafe.com SEASONAL BERRY PIE OR CRISPWildfireNothing says summer like a fresh-baked piece of berry pie or crisp. Still warm from the oven with aromas reminiscent of grandma’s kitchen, you will not be disappointed with Wildfire’s rendition of this all-American dessert. Executive chef Tom Gladbach makes his pies from scratch—even the pie dough is made right there in the Wildfire kitchen ($6.95 per slice, $19.95 for a whole pie to go). “I try to get whatever seasonal berries I can,” he says. “After July 4, we’ll be switching from our strawberry rhubarb to our blueberry pie.” The seasonal berry crisp is equally as delicious, topped with an oatmeal cookie crumble, berry sauce, and vanilla ice cream ($7.95). Gladbach tries to get Michigan blueberries when possible, but you’ll also find other flavorful fruits like blackberries and strawberries on the menu, too. 8251 Flying Cloud Dr.; Eden Prairie; 952.914.9100; wildfirerestaurant.com MAKE-YOUR-OWN FRUIT SUNDAEFreeziacWith several frozen yogurt flavors and a plethora of tasty toppings, Freeziac is one of our favorite spots for do-it-yourself fro yo. First, choose from flavors like very vanilla, strawberry lemonade, or our personal favorite—pomegranate (it’s especially good with fresh fruit). One flavor per store is dairy and gluten free, too.Then head over to the toppings with choices like bananas, blackberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, raspberries, and strawberries. You can also add non-fruit toppings into the mix with choices like cheesecake bites, coconut, granola, or hot fudge. But be careful when piling up your sundae since you pay by the weight ($.45 per ounce). 16532 W 78 St.; Eden Prairie; 952.934.4748; freeziac.com FRUIT SMOOTHIEBerry BlendzThere’s nothing like a refreshing smoothie to start (or end!) a day in the summer heat. And if you’re trying to cut calories, this is an excellent alternative that’s just as delicious. All Berry Blendz smoothies are made fresh to order with fresh fruit. And they serve upwards of 50 flavors, so you’re guaranteed to find something you like. If you’re in a berry mood, try the Wild Banana with bananas, raspberries, blackberries, and oranges blended with fat-free frozen yogurt. Want to go tropical? Try the Hawaiian Dream with passion and guava fruit, pineapple, mangos, and bananas (all smoothies $3.73–$5.87). You can also add supplements for an extra boost. The first one is complimentary, and each one is $.25 after that. 582 Prairie Center Dr.; Eden Prairie; 952.943.0005; berryblendz.com FRUIT ICE CREAMFrost & SteamIn the minds of many, ice cream equals summer. And we couldn’t agree more. If you find yourself in Waconia, stroll down Main Street to Frost & Steam for a cone of one of their fruit-flavored ice creams from the Edina Creamery and Brown’s Ice Cream in Minneapolis ($2.10-$3.65). This hometown eatery is the original coffeehouse of Waconia, and serves up a variety of flavors like strawberry (ice cream and yogurt), malted milk ball, blueberry cheesecake, black licorice and rainbow sherbet, which is popular with the kiddos. They’ve also ordered some delicious sorbets for the summer—we love the mango. 136 W Main St.; Waconia; 952.442.5551 FRUIT SHAKE OR MALTDairy QueenWe couldn’t create a true summer dessert list without including the good ‘ol DQ. It’s hard to resist its cool treats on a hot summer night. We love the fruit shakes and malts. These classic picks come in flavors like strawberry, cherry, and banana ($2.98–$4.69). Each malt or shake blends fresh fruit with their signature creamy soft serve, and is topped with whipped cream and a cherry, of course. 2120 Arboretum Blvd.; Victoria; 952.443.2294 KEY LIME TARTLola’s LakehouseIn addition to the view from the deck looking out across Lake Waconia and all of its summer activity, Lola’s Lakehouse also boasts a key lime tart that you will be equally as pleased with. And to top it all off, it’s drizzled with macerated blueberries, raspberry coulis, and whipped cream for the pièce de résistance ($8). Pair this with one of Lola’s specialty after-dinner drinks or a cup of coffee, and you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect summer evening. 318 E Lake St.; Waconia; 952.442.4954; lolaslakehouse.com
Review: The Best Fruit Desserts in Southwest Metro
Nine summer-worthy fruit desserts from your favorite local eateries.