Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raspberry Sauce

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.

Yesterday I did a little dissing on vampires. They're just not my thing. They have long teeth. They're pale and cold. They consume bodily fluids.

I don't read anything by Anne Rice, the ads for True Blood make me a little queasy (I honestly have to avert my eyes). And, although I may take my eternal salvation in my hands through the awesome blasphemy I am about to reveal, I haven't read the Twilight series. And, I know, those are, like, nice vampires and all.

Yet. Yet I have created the perfect food for a vampire/True Blood/Eclipse party. It was an accident I assure you. But a happy one. Whether you have a thing for vampires or not.

Remember my friend who brought me the raspberries. Well, she brought me some more. These are the people in your life you should keep around. We ate some and I froze a few and I had some vanilla ice cream sitting in the freezer so I made some raspberry sauce. And it was good. It was, if I don't mind saying so, very very good.

This is a fruit sauce that can be used on ice cream, on/in plain yogurt or over pancakes/waffles. And you needn't use fresh raspberries--any berry will do as will peaches or cherries. Fresh or frozen are both fine. Usually I leave the fruits kind of in tact, but in this case I thought the seeds were just too seedy, so I mashed the fruits and then strained them out (which really wasn't very hard at all). And--oh my. The remaining sauce was utterly gorgeous and super full of raspberry punch with just the right amount of sweet (i.e. not overly sweet).

The only problem was that when I drizzled it over my white, creamy, virginal ice cream, all I could see were the words "Twilight Party." If that's your thing, go for it. As for the rest of us, we'll swirl the spooky cryptic messages into our ice cream and eat it anyway. Oh yes we will.

Berry Sauce
makes about 2 C
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cost: $4.00
(sugar: .08, raspberries--free if you've got great friends; otherwise they'll cost you $3-5)

1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 C raspberries, fresh or frozen (or blueberries or a mix of whatever berries; peaches or cherries work deliciously too)

Whisk sugar and corn starch together. Add water. Bring to boil. Add berries and simmer for a few minutes until soft. (It might seem to thick at first, but give it a few minutes and the fruits will release their juices and all will be right with the world.)

If you don't have seedy raspberries, you're done. You can mash a few of the berries and leave the rest in tact.

With the raspberries, I took a potato masher and mashed them into a sauce right in the pan. Then I strained the sauce through a fine-meshed strainer. I pressed it a bit to get as much syrup as I could.

You could stop here--you've got your lovely sauce. Set it aside; you're not going to mess with it anymore. Still, I thought the seeds still had a bit of raspberriness left on them, so I put the remaining seeds back in the pan, added another cup of water and boiled for a few more minutes. The water turned fairly dark. I strained this again into a different bowl. What I had was a somewhat thick raspberry juice. It would have made beautiful beautiful popsicles. As it was, I just let it cool and gave it to my kids to drink. Yes, there was surely a bit of residual sugar in it, but I still thought it was a pretty healthy drink for them on a hot summer day.

This will keep in the refrigerator for a good couple of weeks. I'm guessing it also freezes very well, although we always use ours up before that point.


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