The citrus dessert is a staple sweet in almost any San Diegan home. Thanks to California’s Mediterranean climate, San Diego has access to citrus fruits regardless of the season, and these fruits usually end up in someone’s dessert plate. But even if you’re not from San Diego, you can appreciate why citrus fruits are great ingredients in any dessert. Depending on the preparation, they can make any sweet treat light and refreshing, and their acidity provides a balance to the sweetness of the dessert. Most of all, citrus fruits load up your dessert with Vitamin C and antioxidants; they make your sweet indulgences healthier.
I have here a few easy citrus dessert recipes that you can make in your own kitchen. Try them out this summer, or any time you feel like enjoying a citrus dessert.
1. Blueberry Citrus Cake Recipe
My kids love sponge cakes as much as any other kid does. They like having sponge cakes for mid-afternoon snacks. My wife and I also love a slice of sponge cake with our coffee or tea. We try out different kinds of citrus cake recipes at home, but this blueberry citrus cake is the all-time favorite. It’s light and fluffy, and we really can’t resist the call of fresh blueberries whenever we can find them at the market. Here’s a recipe for blueberry citrus cake that I got from Taste of Home.
• 1 regular-size package yellow cake mix (If you don’t like boxed mixes, you can make your own homemade yellow cake mix, of course. Here’s an excellent yellow cake mix recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.)
• 3 eggs
• 1 tsp grated lemon peel
• 1 tsp grated orange peel
• 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
• 1 cup orange juice
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 3 oz softened cream cheese
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (or your desired alternative sweetener)
• 1/4 cup softened butter
• 2 cups whipped topping
• 2 tsp grated lemon peel
• 2 tsp grated orange peel
• 2 tbsp orange juice
Preheat your oven at 350°F. Combine your cake mix with the eggs, oil and orange juice in a large bowl. Once properly combined, beat the mixture in a mixer or food processor at low speed for 30 seconds, and then at medium speed for two minutes. Afterwards, fold the peels and blueberries. Grease and flour two nine-inch round baking pans, and pour the mix into these pans. Bake the mix for 25 minutes. Once done, cool for 10 minutes before taking the cakes out of the pans. And then, place the cakes on cooling racks and set them aside.
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese with the butter until the mixture becomes fluffy. Blend in the remaining ingredients except for the whipped topping. Fold the whipped topping into the mix when it has completely blended. Spread this frosting between the layers and over the sides and the top of the cake once it has cooled down completely. Chill dessert in the fridge and serve chilled.
2. Citrus Cheesecake with Marmalade Glaze Recipe
My wife isn’t as crazy for sponge cakes as my kids are. However, she does love a good cheesecake. Hmm, let me correct myself on that: My wife is crazy for cheesecake, especially if they have blueberries or chocolate. To please my wife, I’ve tried out a few citrus cheesecake recipes over the years. This citrus cheesecake with marmalade glaze is one of those that never fail to turn her head. This dessert recipe is from Epicurious.
Ingredients for the crust:
• 1 large egg, separated
• 1 stick or 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp grated lemon peel
• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for the filling:
• 3 large eggs
• 3 8-oz packages softened cream cheese
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 cups sugar
• 2/3 cup orange marmalade
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 1 tbsp and 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp grated orange peel
• 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
• 2 tsp grated lime peel
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 425°F with the rack in the center. Spread butter on the inside of a 9-inch baking pan. Whisk together egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. In a food processor, mix flour and sugar. Once blended, add in the butter and continue mixing. Once the mixture begins forming coarse crumbs, pour in the yolk and lemon mixture until the crust starts clumping. Get your crust out of your processor and press onto the bottom and the sides of your buttered pan. Stash the pan in the freezer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, take the crust out of the freezer and then brush lightly with whisked egg white. Then, bake the crust for 15 minutes or until golden. Take the crust out of the oven and reduce the oven’s temperature to 350°F. Set aside the crust to allow it to cool.
While the crust is cooling, beat the cream cheese in your food processor or mixer. Add the sugar. Put in the cornstarch, lemon juice, the grated citrus peels and the vanilla once the sugar is blended completely into the cheese. Add the eggs into the mixture one at a time; wait for the first egg to become completely blended before you add the second one. Lastly, add the sour cream. Pour this filling mixture into the cooled crust and then bake for 55 minutes or until the cake gets slightly solid and develops cracks around the edges. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack. Once it cools, refrigerate overnight.
For the glaze, mix together marmalade and two teaspoons of lemon juice in a saucepan. Boil the mixture for two minutes, until it has become reduced. Take the cake out of the fridge and spread the warm marmalade glaze on its top. Chill cake for ten minutes, and then serve.
3. Quick-Fix Citrus Salad Recipe
If my kids love sponge cakes and my wife loves cheesecakes, I’m perfectly happy with a simple citrus salad. Citrus salads are easy – citrus salad recipes take almost no time to prepare and you can play around with the ingredients. Most of all, it’s a healthy, no-fuss dessert that you can put together whenever you want something sweet, fruity and tangy in one bite.
There are lots of citrus salad recipes out there, but this one from Food has become my go-to dessert.
3 blood oranges
1 pink grapefruit
1 white grapefruit
1 red grapefruit
2 cups strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp white wine
Peel the citrus fruits and section them. Make sure to remove the bitter piths. Wash the berries and cut the strawberries in half. Mix all these fruits together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, white wine and lime juice. Pour this dressing over the fruits and give the salad a gentle toss. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the salad marinate before serving. I swear, this dessert is to die for!
These are the citrus desserts that are ever-present in my home. They are all tasty and easy to make. So, what’s your favorite citrus dessert?