Brûléed Pineapple Tart
Break out the brûlée torch for this stunning tart with flavors reminiscent of a pina colada. The pastry shell is flecked with coconut flakes while the filling provides a custardy contrast to the concentrated sweetness of roasted pineapple.
Rum Glazed Banana Bundt Cake
One up your banana dessert game by opting for this banana bundt cake that gets an extra lift from shredded coconut and cashews. It's finished off with a dark rum glaze because, hey, a dash of booze is pretty much guaranteed to warm things up.
Guava paste is a seriously under-appreciated condiment that adds an instant jolt of sweet fruitiness to whatever you spread it on. Here, it gets paired up with buttery shortbread and a crunchy oat topping for a bar cookie that's irresistibly rich.
Key Lime Pie
Should you find yourself trapped indoors during, heaven forbid, yet another snowstorm, why not use the time to embark on a baking project of an ambitious nature? Extracting the juice from itty bitty key limes is not a task for the impatient, but the rewards pay off in this recipe for Key Lime Pie. It's also a more reasonable method of transporting yourself to Key West than a spontaneous trek down I-95.
Kumquat Lemongrass Ice Cream
Aromatic lemongrass and sassy kumquats are two ingredients that don't pop up in desserts nearly as often as they should. When used together in ice cream, they create a perfumey lilt and citrusy tang that evokes the flavors of Southeast Asia.
Date Rum Cake with Walnuts and Coconut
Although we might associate cakes like this one, made with handfuls of dried fruit and a healthy dose of rum, with sweater weather, the truth is that they have roots in the balmy climes of the Caribbean. Loaded with strong flavors and a stronger alcohol content, its practically a dessert and digestif all in one.
Pineapple Coconut Muffins
Basic muffin batter gets an upgrade here with the addition of coconut milk, which adds extra fat for a ridiculously moist and tender crumb. Cubes of pineapple help cut some of the richness, resulting in a breakfast-friendly treat that makes optimal use of a quintessential tropical flavor combination.
Banana Cream Pie
Our banana cream pie, made from homemade vanilla pudding, a flaky butter crust, and fresh bananas, evokes something that you simply just simply can't get from a box: pure happiness and pleasure folded into each and every creamy bite.
Coconut Mango Upside Down Cake
Upside down cakes do something magical to mangoes—by keeping the fruit at the bottom as it bakes, it stays luscious and juicy while getting a bit of caramelized flavor around the edges. In the end, the technique also makes for layers that are as tantalizing to look at as they are to eat.
Spicy Pineapple and Tequila Sorbet
Sometimes the zing of tropical fruit just isn't enough to shake yourself out of a weather-induced funk—it might also take a jolt of fiery chile, or perhaps also a rousing blast of tequila. This sorbet has all three, delivering the exact amount of excitement necessary to trick your brain into thinking it's summer.
Grilled Pineapple with Coconut-Condensed Milk-Butter Sauce
Grilled pineapple wedges are a snack that let you recreate a bit of Thai street cuisine in your own home. We like to top them with a coconut and sweetened condensed milk sauce, which contrasts pleasingly with the tartness of slightly underripe fruit.
Coconut Key Lime Muffins
Sweetened coconut flakes seem to have gotten something of a bad rap lately, but there are just some situations in which they are simply irreplaceable. Case in point, these coconut key lime muffins, where they are used to make a sweet and crunchy cap. Call it retro if you want to, but some classics never go out of style.
Coconut Pineapple Gem Cookies
Sweetened coconut is also indispensable in this recipe for gem cookies—so called for the button of jam that fills the center. It helps add a little extra something to this tropical take on the traditional cookie.
Islas Flotantes de Coco (Coconut Floating Islands)
Coconut, caramel, and cashews add a Latin-influenced twist to îles flottantes, the dessert of feathery meringue puffs floating in crème anglaise. One bite and you'll realize that these little islands are more like weightless clouds, carrying dreams of sunnier times.
Toasted Coconut and Lime Ice Cream
Extra creamy ice cream is an excellent vehicle for showcasing the nutty flavors of lightly toasted coconut shreds. We also like to add a couple tablespoons of grated lime zest, which provides a bright, floral lift.
Pastel de Piña (Pineapple Tart)
While the image of a lattice-top apple pie sitting in a window sill holds special significance in the US, in Nicaragua, the pastel de piña is what you're most likely to find cooling in the kitchen. The filling is made from fresh pineapple, which becomes sweet and jammy with baking—perfect for enjoying with coffee or for breakfast, as Nicaraguans do.
If you've already baked your way through all other manner of fruit tarts, why not give kumquat a try? The best part about using the thin-skinned citrus fruits here is that they don't require any peeling or juicing—just stick them in a blender and you're good to go.