Everyone needs a good, basic go-to fruit sauce. You know the one–you put it on cheesecake and pancakes and ice-cream sundaes and…you get the picture(s). Really yummy pictures. Pictures that make you get up off the couch and go cook something. And eat. And wish that someone else would clean up the kitchen. When my kitchen gets trashed (general condition) it would be great to have a magic wand like Harry Potter. I could point it at my kitchen and forcefully pronounce something like, “cleanupeo” or “expungeo” or even better ”getmeanewkitchen-eo”.
Back to reality. Although the pictures accompanying this post are specifically about strawberry sauce, the same principles will apply to many different types of fruit.
- A fruit sauce can be served either warm or cold, depending of course on its use. Warm–heat it gently in a sauce pot or maybe the microwave. Cool–serve at room temperature or put it in the fridge for a while.
- Think about how you want your end product to look–do you want it chunky or smooth? For smooth sauces, give the sauce some extra time in the blender. You may decide to strain the sauce if you want to get out the seeds, as with raspberry or blackberry sauces. It’s your call. For a chunky sauce, either pulse blend the fruit in the blender until it is the right consistency or set aside some smallish fruit chunks to add back into the sauce during the cooking process.
- You can use either fresh or frozen fruit. If using frozen fruit, let it thaw before making the sauce. Zap it in the microwave on “defrost” for a couple of minutes to hasten defrosting. If you get it a little too warm, not too worry, because the sauce will get cooked anyway.
- You can mix and match different fruits to get more interesting flavors.
****I like to triple this recipe with strawberries. It provides extra sauce for freezing.
- 2 cups fruit puree (see #1 under Directions)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon flavorings or extracts such as vanilla, almond, or rum
- Wash and prep fruit. For strawberries, hull or cut off tops; then halve or quarter. For peaches, apricots, and mangoes, peel and pit fruit, then cut into chunks. Leave small berries whole–(blackberries, raspberries, blueberries).
- Put fruit into a blender or food processor and process until fruit is smooth or to whatever level of smoothness/chunkiness that you prefer. Note: for blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries, you may want to strain them through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to catch the seeds before proceeding with step #3.
- Pour puree into an appropriate size sauce pot and add sugar. Stir to mix the fruit puree and sugar.
- Over medium or medium-low heat, bring the fruit mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently so that the fruit will not stick to the bottom of the pan. Do not boil because the sauce will burn quite easily and will also splatter out of the pot.
- If you find that the sauce is thicker than you’d like, simply thin it a little with either water or a fruit juice of choice such as apple, pear, orange juice. Remember that the sauce thickens as it cools. If by chance, however, you find that the sauce is too thin after it cools, simply reheat and allow sauce to reduce.
- At the end of the cooking time, turn off heat and stir in flavorings or extracts.
- The sauce will freeze well, so portion it into appropriate amounts and freeze in freezer-safe containers such as glass jars or plastic freezer containers.