Summer produce is wonderful! Local fruit, picked when ripe, is so superior to winter’s hard, picked-when-green fruit trucked thousands of miles from their source, delivered in refrigerated trucks that keep them hard and prevent ripening. The season is almost over so take advantage of the good stuff now. Why not make freezable concoctions for year-round use that will still have some of that fresh flavor? Here are three dessert sauces to bring summer warmth and goodness to your table in cold weather. When serving these fruit sauces you may add an appropriate liqueur. The recipes include my choices.
I prepared these three for the annual fund-raiser dinner of the Cristopher Whitehouse Foundation (CWF), of which I am a board member. This year the president suggested a gift basket that included a copy of Dazzling Dinners. I added a really nice bottle of Champagne and containers of three dessert sauces. The sauces were frozen and later hand delivered to the lucky winner at a time specified by the winner.
CWF was founded in the memory of Cristopher Whitehouse who tragically passed away while a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida. Chris was born and grew up on Staten Island. He was one of the good people of the world, always helping others. Especially, he liked to help needy students in small ways that had big impacts, e.g., an A/C for a student with breathing problems, a bathing suit so a kid could attend public pools, a school’s athletic fees, a computer for a kid who could not afford one, etc. CWF continues Christopher’s work by providing small grants to needy students, the kind of thing rarely supported in other ways.
2 cups fresh raspberries,
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar, more to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
Bring the berries and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until sugar is dissolved and berries begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Add additional sugar if desired..
Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and water. Add to pot when Step 1 is complete. Continue to stir until thickened. Cool and freeze.
When serving, if desired, add 1-2 tablespoons of any berry liqueur. My favorite is Framboise.
5 cups sliced black figs, stemmed and sliced
4 ounces water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients is a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until figs are soft and somewhat broken down.
You may leave the slices as they are or process to a smoother consistency. Cool and freeze.
When serving, if desired, add 1-2 tablespoons of an orange liqueur. I go for Grand Marnier. An interesting alternative is Drambuie.
5 cups roughly chopped peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
Process chopped peaches to your desired consistency, smooth to chunky.
Bring to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and water together and then add to pot. Stir until mixture is thickened.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice and almond extract. Cool and freeze.
If desired, add 1-2 tablespoons of an almond liqueur. I favor Amaretto.