Stuffed Oranges _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Fill an orange shell with slow-cooked fruit for a pretty and easy-to-make dessert.

There’s nothing like a pretty dessert to end a successful dinner. It’s also nice to end the meal with something light. Too often, we bring out the heavy, rich offerings that are “oh, so good,” but we are all too full to enjoy them.

Fruit can make a lovely dessert. The key is to make it not only tasty, but unexpected. Large navel oranges make the perfect vessel.

Heat several fruit companions in the slow cooker for a couple of hours and spoon the tasty result into a hollowed-out orange. Fresh or frozen peaches, fruit cocktail, almonds and coconut merge nicely together and make an easy, quick dessert.

The advantage to the slow cooker is the convenience. If dessert needs to be delayed, it will keep warm for as long as you need it. The flavors also have a nice amount of time to merge. Have the oranges hollowed out ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator until dessert time.

It only takes a minute to spoon the warm fruits into the orange. If you like, place a dollop of whipping cream on top. If not, the fruits themselves make for a nice presentation.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at