Cool sauces for hot days

A cool dessert in the summer is the absolute best. Homemade or not, ice creams and sorbets offer a cold hit of joy at the end of a meal.

If you don’t own an electric ice cream maker, think about buying one or asking for one at gift giving time.

I bought a small one from Williams-Sonoma a few years ago and have kept the cold drum in my freezer ever since. Ready for the odd sale of raspberries, blueberries or lemons.

Think of serving your next cold dessert in hollowed out lemon rind cups paired with a thin butter cookie. You’ll be ready for your closeup.

Here are some delicous and easy to make ice cream sauces, never skimp on the zest.

Raspberry Sauce

Two 10-ounce bags frozen raspberries, thawed, or 2 pints (about1 1/2 lbs.) fresh

1/2 cup sugar, plus more, to taste

Pinch of salt, plus more to taste

Finely grated lemon zest plus juice of 1 lemon

1. Put all ingredients in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until raspberries have lost their shape completely, about 10 minutes.

2. Remove sauce from heat and add more sugar, salt and/or lemon juice to taste.

Makes 5 to 6 cups.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water or apple cider

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 Tablespoons butter, optional

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stiring until sugar dissolves. Simmer until sauce turns deep amber, about 10 minutes. Add cream in a slow stream. Sauce may bubble and seizeup, but leave it on the heat and it will liquefy. Stir until smooth. For a richer sauce, stir in butter.

Makes 2 cups.

Bitter Chocolate Sauce

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweeteened cocoa

1 cup water

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1. In a small saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and water. Set pan over medium heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constatly. Continue to boil gently, whisking, 3 minutes. Add butter and boil gently, whisking, 3 minutes more.

2. Remove sauce from heat. Serve hot or cold.

Makes 1 1/3 cups.

 

All sauces will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and a year in the freezer.

 

Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.

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