Sweet Christmas: These Desserts Make the Most of Summer Fruits

Sweet Christmas: These Desserts Make the Most of Summer Fruits

Looking to serve something a bit different for dessert this Christmas? Well, the classic pavlova and decadent cherry cake get a refresh with these Christmas dessert recipes that highlight the beautiful summer fruits Aussies get to enjoy at this time of year.

Amelia Baines from Farmers Pick has created these sweet treats. Farmers Pick is all about reducing food waste by taking the fruit and vege that gets rejected by supermarkets and delivering it to your door. Good for the environment and good for your wallet!

So let’s get using some of that delicious summer produce with these Christmas desserts.

Pavlova with creme chantilly and nectarine thyme compote

What you’ll need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp sifted icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 nectarines
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees celsius.
  2. Mark a 20cm circle on baking paper; line a baking tray with the paper.
  3. You can use a stand mixer if you have one. If not, get a large mixing bowl and some electric beaters. Add the egg whites to the bowl and beat on high until soft peaks form. You can look up a video of what soft peaks look like if you’re not sure.
  4. Once you have soft peaks, start adding the caster sugar as you continue to whisk on high. It’s important to add the sugar slowly, no more than a dessertspoon at a time. Beating until dissolved after each addition. When all the sugar has been added, rub a small amount of the mixture between your fingers to feel if the sugar has dissolved. If not, keep whisking until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. At this stage, very gently fold through the cornflour and vinegar, being careful not to be rough with the mixture.
  6. Take your lined baking tray and scoop the mixture inside the circle you drew on the paper. Using a spatula or palette knife, smooth it into a flat, high sided pavlova shape. Pop into the oven and cook for 1.5 hours.
  7. Roughly chop 3 of the nectarines and place in a small saucepan with the thyme sprig, 2 tbsp of caster sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Cook over a medium heat until the nectarines have broken down and become like a loose syrup, this should take roughly 10 minutes. Whilst the nectarines are cooking, halve and slice one of the remaining nectarines. When you take the compote off the heat, fold in the sliced nectarines and set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl, combine the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk with electric beaters until stiff peaks form.
  9. Construct your pavlova when you’re close to serving. Carefully move the pavlova onto a nice plate, gently cover the top of the pavlova with the whipped cream. Spoon the cooled nectarine compote over the cream. You can slice the remaining uncooked nectarine and use it to decorate the pavlova.
Christmas desserts summer fruits
This cherry cake is perfect for your Christmas desserts table. Image: Farmers Pick

Cherry cake with vanilla cream and dark chocolate ganache

What you’ll need:


  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 175g cherries, halved and pitted

Chocolate Ganache

  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 200g thickened cream

Vanilla Cream

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line the base and grease the sides of two 20cm cake tins.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl and combine the softened butter and caster sugar. Beat for several minutes with an electric beater or stand mixer until it is pale in colour and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one by one, beating between each addition.
  4. Fold in the flour, until fully combined. Stir in the almond extract. Gently fold in the cherry halves. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 22 minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean or with a few crumbs attached. If the skewer has wet mixture on it, return to the oven for 5 mins and check again. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Pour the cream into a heatproof bowl and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out and check how hot it is, it will probably need another 30 seconds. Once it’s very hot, add the chocolate and set aside for a couple of minutes. Give the mixture a good stir, it should be almost all melted. Keep stirring until smooth. If it still has lumps, pop back into the microwave for 10 second bursts until it is all smooth. Set aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, put the cream, icing sugar and vanilla into a medium bowl and whisk with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over whisk or it could split.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, put one cake onto a platter, dollop the cream on top and spread to create a flat surface. Put the remaining cake on top.
  8. Give the ganache a good stir, it should be a thick, pourable consistency. Pour over the cake and use a palette knife or spatula to move the ganache into any gaps.
  9. Decorate the cake with any leftover cherries, chocolate shards, gold leaf or edible flowers.
    As the cake contains fresh cream, it will need to be refrigerated. Serve the cake at room temperature but don’t leave it out for hours on end!

For more tips on using up Christmas leftovers, check out these TikTok creations.

Do you have a favourite Christmas dessert recipe for using up summer fruits? Let us know in the comments below.

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