I can’t believe I let Valentine’s Day go by without posting about this.
The other day, I was digging around in Sam’s fridge, and found a bottle of rosé wine I’d bought ages ago and never used. I opened it and poured myself a glass; it was gently floral, floaty-light, sweet without being syrupy. Then I did some more digging, and found a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer. Then the wheels started turning…and the result was a delicious and slightly different take on raspberry sauce.
So often, raspberry sauce is a thick, sticky-tart substance with exactly one note. If I had a nickel for every time I ordered a decadent chocolate dessert at a restaurant and had it arrive atop a swirl of pink-red syrup…I’d have a lot of nickels. So I decided to nix the notion of a gooey, heavily sugared and cornstarch-thickened sauce and do something a little odder.
Essentially, this sauce is as much about the wine as it is about the berries. For a pint of raspberries, I used half a bottle of rosé–no, that’s not excessive, why do you ask? I added a tiny bit of sugar to mellow the tartness, and the dregs from a jar of raspberry jam to help thicken the sauce. But really, this is wine and raspberry juice, reduced until they meld.
In case I hadn’t made this clear: I really like this sauce. It’s thinner and lighter than a traditional raspberry sauce, and a deep heart-red. The wine makes it flowery and soft and a little spicy–definitely for grown-ups, this one. I also like that it’s special, for something like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but at the same time simple enough that you could stash it in the fridge and dole it out over a week’s worth of everyday desserts.
You know, if you don’t end up drinking it straight from the container. Which I may have tried to do.
In the photo above, the sauce is drizzled over lemon sorbet–a no-brainer if there ever was one. But I still have plenty of sauce left over, and the ideas are piling up. Chocolate cake, panna cotta, cheesecake, pavlova…you’ll want to put this on just about everything. (EDIT: New recommendation: pour a teaspoon of sauce into a flute of sparkling wine. You’re welcome.)
Raspberry Rosé Sauce (makes about 2 cups)
Note: This sauce is very light, with a thin, runny consistency; it thickens a bit in the fridge. If you want an even thicker sauce, simmer it longer to let it reduce more.
1 pint (2 cups or 16 oz) fresh or frozen/thawed raspberries
1 1/2 cups rosé wine
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp Framboise or other raspberry liqueur (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the raspberries have completely broken down, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, and strain through a fine mesh strainer into your storage container of choice. Cover and refrigerate until needed, for up to two weeks. Serve over any variety of creamy, custardy or chocolaty desserts.