A shortcut to classic desserts

August 10, 1999

Classic Dessertsmaterials courtesy of: Del Monte Bananas - Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple - Nilla Wafers - Royal Pudding and Pie Filling

When you're working late or soccer games and piano lessons have filled the calendar, there's not much time left for eating meals together, much less ending them with showstopping desserts. But cooks in a rush can satisfy their family's sweet tooth when they choose classic dessert recipes that have been updated. Save preparation time by choosing recipes that substitute quick-to-fix mixes for more complicated cooking steps and by keeping a few versatile ingredients on hand for spur-of-the-moment dessert plans.

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Instant pudding trims preparation time for classic desserts and stands on its own for a quick ending to an everyday meal. No need to cook and stir -these mixes are ready to eat in minutes. And they make classic desserts like banana cream pie an easy addition to a weeknight menu. Kosher cooks will be happy to hear that some brands of instant pudding have been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union.


Another favorite staple for snacking and baking is vanilla wafers. Top an ice cream sundae with a dollop of whipped cream and a vanilla wafer for a quick dessert with restaurant-style panache. Layered desserts get a touch of elegance served in a clear glass dish lined with vanilla wafers. Or crush the wafers and mix them with a bit of sugar and margarine for a kid-proven-favorite pie crust.

Look to the produce section for other quick dessert ingredients. Bananas are available year-round. Those with just a few brown spots have reached their maximum sweetness and are ideal for baking. Fresh-cut pineapple, available in the refrigerated section of the produce department, combines fresh taste with canned convenience.

With quick-to-use, versatile ingredients on hand, there's no need to cheat your sweet tooth.

Boston Cream Pie

  • 1 4-serving size package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 9-inch baked and cooled yellow cake layer, split horizontally
  • 2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare pudding according to package directions using milk. Spread pudding on bottom cake layer; top with remaining layer.

Melt chocolate and margarine or butter in small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Blend in sugar, 2 tablespoons hot water and vanilla. Gradually stir in enough hot water until glaze consistency is reached. Spread glaze over top of cake.

Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Serves 8.


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