I’ve been in recipe creation mode, lately, and have come up with several that I’m excited to share with you. Sometimes, creating new recipes is awesome. Sometimes, it’s a laboratory concoction gone awry. :) My indulgent family participates in my experiments with patient smiles and sometimes, a deep breath and closed eyes. I’m so grateful for their pioneering spirits.
Have you ever gone to the pantry to get some inspiration for a guestworthy-dessert, only to be left staring at basic pantry staples and kids’ snacks? It happens to the best of us. -lol- But, if the snacks happen to be Dole Fruit Cups, you may be able to save a trip to the grocery store and have everything you need to create something simple, but elegant; and your guests won’t be able to get enough! This was such a fun recipe to create; and has been dubbed Mandarin Orange Delight. I couldn’t be more pleased with the reviews from my favorite critics, so I know it will definitely be a hit for summertime parties. Whether you choose to serve it simply, or style it for more elegant entertaining, this easy to prepare dessert will make you famous (or at least a familiar face in the neighborhood)! :)
- Luckily, Dole Mandarin Orange fruit cups were the kids’ snack I found in my pantry. I can’t wait to show you how easy it was to transform them into a wonderful dessert!
View my shopping trip to purchase the recipe ingredients in my Google+ Album.
This is a two phase recipe, but both phases are super easy. Mix and bake a simple crust, then whip up the filling, fill the crust and let it chill, leaving plenty of time to prepare for and enjoy your guests. When you see it, you’ll know it was worth it. When you taste it…oh man, just wait ’til you taste it! :)
- Mandarin Orange Delight – Delectable citrus, creamy perfection!
For the Crust
- 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter
For the Filling
- 3 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups mandarin orange segments, drained
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon fiori di sicilia * (see below)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
For the Crust
- Melt the butter and combine, thoroughly, with the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. The mixture will be coarse and moist, and easily pressed together.
- Press the crust into the bottom of a large spring form pan (Mine is 10 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches deep.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
For the Filling
- With your mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese, sugar, condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and Fiori di Sicilia. (*A Note About Fiori di Sicilia: This recipe could certainly be prepared without it. But this lovely extract that is a combination of citrus, Sicilian flowers and vanilla is a perfect complement to the mandarin oranges. If you don't have Fiori di Sicilia, you can use orange extract. It just won't have quite the same mellow citrus sumptuousness.)
- Your filling will be thick, creamy and delicious, but still pretty heavy. If you lift some on your spoon or spatula, the weight will immediately cause it to begin sliding back into the bowl.
- To get the airy, smoothness that is perfect for summertime citrus desserts, you are going to whip the heavy cream into the filling at your mixer's highest speed.
- It will only take a short time, less than 60 seconds, to whip the volume into your dessert. Don't overbeat it as it will actually begin to lose volume and eventually lose its thickness and texture. It should whip up and fill your bowl. You will be able to tap a spatula or spoon across the surface, lift it quickly and see soft, peaks form in the filling.
- Gently fold the mandarin oranges into the filling, by hand, not with the mixer.
- This is the point where you will want to sit in front of a good chick-flick with the bowl and a big spoon and just enjoy your creation, but trust me, it's going to be even better.
- Restrain yourself, as best you can and pile the mandarin orange dessert filling into your spring form pan with the cooled graham cracker crust.
- I used about 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest to sprinkle the top and then refrigerated the dessert to give it a chance to set up. I left it to chill, somewhere between 5 and 6 hours.
- Once set up, the mold can be removed from your spring form pan and your gorgeous dessert is ready to serve.
- Pretty AND delicious!
- Dress it up with some extra mandarin orange segments or serve it as is. Either way, you'll be greeted with ooohs and aaahs at how pretty it is. I used lemon leaves,from our Meyer lemon tree, on the plate for a couple of these pictures.
- Regardless of how you serve it, you won't be able to resist digging in, for long. Enjoy!
Dole Fruit Cups make fantastic, quick and healthy snacks for your favorite on-the-go kids. They’re just fruit — that’s it — 100% fruit, packed in it’s own juice. The fruit is packaged in easy-to-take containers, that are perfectly portioned and they have varieties to fit the preferences of all the “individuals” that you cook for. Toss them in a lunch box, offer them after school as a snack; OR when you’re in a hurry to make something fabulous for guests, get creative and let them be the inspiration for a delicious new dessert! Be sure to follow Dole on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on new products, and to be the first to hear about promotions and coupons. I’m guessing that Dole Fruit Cups will be as well-liked in your house, as they are in ours!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. #CBias #SocialFabric