It’s always good to have a nice dessert sauce in your repertoire. This is absolutely spectacular made with local berries, when they’re in season, like right now. And you must slice the berries, sprinkle them with a bit of sugar and that’s all you need. But, some years, the berries aren’t quite as sweet. Some years the berries are sweeter than other years and you don’t need to “help” them along…this recipe isn’t for those berries. This recipe helps those out-of-season, as well as in-season berries, that are not so sweet. It will make them taste so much better than you can imagine.
It’s also a nice sauce to serve over or with things, like shortcake, pound cake or angel food cake. This is really quite lovely if you substitute red wine for the balsamic vinegar, using 1-2 tablespoons. It will be sharper, but it will be delicious. This is a ridiculously easy recipe. Slice those berries into a good-sized bowl, add the remaining ingredients, toss until well coated. Now, you have a choice…add coarsely ground pink peppercorns or leave the sauce, as is. Either way, stir and walk away for about a half hour, stirring a couple of times during their rest. Then, serve them as is, over something wonderful, or with a spoon and the bowl.
Strawberries and basil have an affinity for each other. They are surprisingly delicious together and are the perfect end to an Italian-themed dinner.
Strawberry Dessert Sauce (with Pink Peppercorns)
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon strawberry-flavored gelatin (NOT sugar-free)
- 1 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (either white or regular)
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns, coarsely ground (optional)
- 4 fresh basil leaves, cut into very fine chiffonade (optional)
- 4 dried rose petals, finely crushed between your fingers (optional)
Place the strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the berries; stir to coat. Add the orange juice concentrate, vinegar, salt and pink peppercorns, if using. Stir well, to completely coat the berries. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. You want the strawberries to produce some juice and the gelatin to dissolve. Can be prepared several hours before serving, refrigerate after one hour. Serve as is, or use as a sauce for shortcake, pound or chocolate cake or angel food cake…and with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, of course.
NOTE: This recipe works much better with regular strawberry-flavored gelatin. It has better flavor and texture, but it works with the sugar-free gelatin, too. It just doesn’t have the best flavor.
NOTE: Pink peppercorns are a surprising and delicious addition. At times, I also crumble dried rose petals, (about 4 petals) into the mixture. With either of these, you want there to be just a hint of these flavors, with the strawberries being the forward flavor. And basil is phenomenal with either strawberries or raspberries, adding both sweet and savory aspects to the sauce. It is best to choose only one, or possibly two of these options, otherwise they will overpower the strawberry-ness of the sauce.
Strawberry Dessert Sauce (with Pink Peppercorns) Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.