Thank you to the dairy farm families of New England for sponsoring this Grilled Summer Fruit Sundaes post and my visit to the Freund Farm as part of an ongoing partnership. All opinions are my own. Thanks to you, my readers, for supporting organizations and brands that make My Cape Cod Kitchen possible.
Grilled Summer Fruit Sundaes. Grilled corn muffin tops topped with a dollop of honey yogurt whipped cream, grilled summer peaches and plums and a generous drizzle of honey. The perfect dessert to celebrate summer – and to celebrate June Dairy Month.
More about this pretty summer treat in a minute…
But first, let’s talk about a little farm trip I, and my friends from New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC), took this month.
To celebrate Dairy Month and World Milk Day (June 1st), NEDFC invited Team Dairy New England to the Freund Family Farm in East Canaan, CT for a farm tour and beautiful milk, yogurt and cream filled lunch in celebration of New England dairy farmers and the nutritious, wholesome and delicious dairy products they produce and sell.
Team Dairy New England, plus Ally, Kiley and Heidi from NEDFC traveled from all parts of New England to come together for this event. Our gracious hosts at the Freund Farm were Rachel and Theresa Freund. Rachel led us on a tour of the family’s farm and Theresa prepared an amazing lunch spread (below) for us underneath a beautiful tree on the farm property.
A few highlights from the day:
- The farm is a progressive farm and the Freunds have received many awards related to their commitment to sustainable farming. A few (of the many) things they’re doing: they’re fully ommitted to solar energy and have solar panels throughout the farm, they own a methane digester (captures methane from manure + microbes) that fully heats the barns, and they are 100% committed to causing no harmful impact to the environment downstream of the dairy farm. They carefully monitor a river that runs through the property and have a buffer zone set up so excess nutrients don’t end up in the water.
- The Freunds created CowPots (pic below)– a fascinating patented product that’s made from the nutrient rich manure on the farm. The Freunds found a way to mass produce pots that can withstand months in the greenhouse, but within 4 weeks of being planted in the ground they dissolve and continue to feed the plant. CowPots helps farmers reduce the nutrient load on their farms which directly contributes to a better and cleaner environment and they have been proven to grow bigger, better plants for the consumers who have no plastic to discard and overload our landfills. Rachel, below, is discussing CowPots with us.
- The holstein cows (all female) live in a “free” barn where they travel to a robot to be milked as they please (with a daily limit of 5 times a day). While being milked, they are able to snack on carbohydrate rich feed. The cows have massagers in their barn (look like car wash brushes) and can visit these large brushes as they please. They also rest on water beds – so their entire body weight is supported, which keeps them cool and comfortable. Below is a cow being milked by the robot (doesn’t hurt her). The milk goes through the machine, is chilled by groundwater then enters a cool storage tank. If a cow needs to be placed on antibiotics, her milk is discarded for a certain number of days, depending on the medication given.
- One of the biggest highlights of the day was meeting Team Dairy New England and the folks from New England Dairy Council and Promotion Board. The team from (L) to (R) below: me, Michelle Nahom from A Dish of Daily Life, Katie Webster from Healthy Seasonal Recipes, Jill Castle from The Nourished Child, and Martha Pesa from A Family Feast.
- For this dietitian and foodie, this veggie rich and over-the-top delicious lunch menu (especially the below Asparagus Egg Bake – Theresa, we need the recipe, please!) … was a major highlight. So was churning our own butter for smearing (thickly) on Theresa’s homemade bread.
- Our lunch menu included: Spring Salad Greens with Crumbled Cabot 3-year old Cheddar // Tomato, Cucumber, Radish, Scallion Salad // Broccoli Salad // Rosemary Herb Roasted Root Vegetables // Asparagus Egg Bake // 5-Grain Bread // Homegrown Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble // Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Chocolate Ganache // Freshly Brewed Harney Peach Iced Tea Mint Ginger Lemonade
Below, Theresa is demonstrating how to churn cream (40% milkfat) into butter. This butter was AMAZING. We topped it with sea salt.
To go with dessert, Theresa made a vanilla yogurt whipped cream. She whipped together Greek yogurt and heavy whipping cream and the result was creamy, smooth and fluffy, yet a bit lighter in fat and calories than regular whipped cream. The whipped cream in my Grilled Summer Fruit Sundaes was inspired by Theresa’s creation.
To make these Grilled Summer Fruit Sundaes, you’ll make a batch of corn muffin tops – or if you prefer, purchase store-made corn muffins and slice them in half. I love muffin tops because it’s the best part of the muffin! But they’re also lower in calories than the full muffin, because you’re basically dividing a full muffin in half or thirds. In these corn muffin tops, I also used whole wheat flour to boost the fiber in the muffins and I cut back on the honey/sugar used, because we’re topping the muffins with lightly sweetened whipped cream, fruit and honey, which adds plenty of sweetness. Corn muffins pair so nicely with fruit of any kind, but especially with the summer fruit that’s in season.
You’ll grill the corn muffin tops along with the peach and plum slices. Then you’ll top the corn muffin tops with a generous dollop of whipped cream then grilled fruit. You’ll top it all off with a nice drizzle of honey and sprig of mint.
Fresh, sweet, tart and ohhhhh so good.
Do you like to grill fruit in the summertime? Stone fruit, like these plums and peaches, get nice and caramelized, making the fruit even sweeter, but adding a smokiness to the fruit as well.
Here’s how to make these Grilled Summer Fruit Sundaes:
Grilled Corn Muffin Summer Fruit Sundaes. Grilled corn muffin tops topped with a dollop of honey yogurt whipped cream and grilled summer peaches and plums. The perfect dessert to celebrate summer.
- For the muffin tops:
- • 1 cup whole wheat flour
- • 1 cup corn meal
- • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • ¾ cup whole milk
- • ½ cup whole milk honey Greek yogurt
- • 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons), melted
- • 2 eggs beaten
- • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- • ¼ cup honey
- For the grilled fruit and muffin tops:
- • 3 peaches, pitted and sliced
- • 3 plums, pitted and sliced
- • 6 muffin tops
- For the whipped cream:
- • ½ cup whole milk honey Greek yogurt
- • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- For garnish:
- • 6 mint leaves (optional)
- For the muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 muffin top tins (12 tops each) with nonstick cooking spray. Mix together dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fill muffin top tins ¾ full. Bake 7-8 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside 6 muffin tops for the sundaes. Store/freeze the remainder.
- For the grilled fruit and muffin tops: While muffin tops are baking, preheat grill to medium. Clean and oil grates. Place fruit slices and muffin tops onto grill. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side until grill marks form and fruit begins to soften. Remove from grill.
- For the whipped cream: Chill a medium mixing bowl. Add yogurt and cream and beat with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form.
- Sundae assembly: To assemble the sundaes, place a large dollop of whipped cream atop a corn muffin top. Top with peach and plum slices. Garnish with mint, if desired.
This recipe makes a full batch of muffin tops (18-20), but you’ll only use 6 for this recipe. Store or freeze the remainder – they’re great toasted for breakfast smeared with peanut butter or served warmed as dinner rolls with whipped butter.
If you don't have a muffin top pan, make regular corn muffins and slice them in half (top to bottom) for grilling.
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