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Kara's Sights & Bites: Chilled desserts are the only way to survive Summer '24

By Kara Kimbrough

Kara's Sights & Bites:  Chilled desserts are the only way to survive Summer '24
Three-ingredient, no-freezer-needed homemade strawberry ice cream is the perfect summertime treat.

 First, the bad news: It’s hot. Even worse, the official start of summer is still days away. But things are not all gloom and doom. There are numerous recipes containing words like “frozen,” “frosted,” “cool,” “chilled” and perhaps the best one this time of year: “no bake.”

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m not a hot weather person. In fact, I live for our all-too-short months of cool, sometimes cold, weather. I’m more than happy to bake, grill, slow cook, broil and fry food during the fleeting months of fall and winter. However, once the temperature reaches 80 degrees, I’ll do anything to keep from turning on the oven.

Since we’ve crossed over into the dark side, aka, summer (despite what the calendar says), I’ve vowed to primarily focus on recipes containing the adjectives listed above. One of my favorites, frozen strawberry pie, is made using a simple recipe I’ve shared here before. I’ve been making this cool dessert ever since I picked up a recipe sheet from Burris Farm Market, the sprawling fruit and vegetable stand in Loxley, Ala. It’s simple to make and as the name would suggest, it's the perfect cool, no-bake dessert.

Another favorite chilled treat dates back quite a bit further. Frosted cranberry salad, a longtime family favorite found in The Mississippi Cookbook published in 1972, has been a staple on our Thanksgiving dinner table for decades. It's charming story gets trotted out every year during the holidays. 

Inevitably, my grandmother would forget to remove the Pyrex dish filled with “pink salad” as we fondly called it due to its dusty rose hue, from the freezer before lunch to thaw. As a result, a rock-hard slice would land with a thud on a dessert plate. Because pink salad is a medley of  flavors, including raspberry, pineapple and cream cheese, among other ingredients, and is not solely cranberry-centric, this versatile chilled salad can be enjoyed all year long, not just when turkey is on the menu.

If you’d like the recipe for either of these chilly dishes, email me and I’ll send them to you. In the meantime, here are the recipes for two new summer treats that require no cooking and will help you (and me) make it through what’s sure to be a long, hot summer.

Frozen Cherry Ice Cream Pie

2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

20 ounce can cherry pie filling

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Hot fudge topping, whipped cream, cherries for garnish

2 graham cracker or shortbread crust pie crusts

     Beat the whipping cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Add cherry pie filling to a medium bowl. Crush slightly with a potato masher. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir. Pour into whipped cream and gently fold to combine.

    Divide mixture between two pie crusts. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

 3-Ingredient No-Freezer-Needed Homemade Ice Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

     In a large bowl, use a mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and the cream is slightly firm. Be careful not to over whip.

     In another large bowl, whisk the vanilla into the sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly incorporating the two mixtures together.

    To create a fruit-based or other flavor ice cream, mix chopped fruit or ingredient of choice (chocolate syrup, crushed candy bar, etc.) directly into the cream mixture. Transfer the mixture to an insulated container and freeze for 4-6 hours.

Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at


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