raspberry sauce

September 7, 2006


It’s berry season here and I’ve not picked one that hasn’t gone either directly into my mouth or directly into the next meal: so much for preparing for the long winter. We spent Labor Day near Copper Center, Alaska, which is fairly far north of Anchorage, and it is fully fall there already. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, and the berries seem to be better for it. The crowberries are enormous and sweet. A handful is almost as good as a glass of water, they’re so juicy. The cranberries are thick and everywhere you look. At home the backyard raspberries continue to ripen even as the leaves turn with the season. The fruit is right on the edge of too ripe, so I’ve been checking the bushes pretty much daily. Last night I ended up with a bowl that just enough to make a bit of sauce. Depending on how much sugar is involved, we use variations of this for everything from vinaigrette to ice cream to drizzling over halibut. Goes pretty good with a jigger of schnapps in mug of hot chocolate, too…

3 cups raspberries
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs honey
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbs whiskey

To prep the berries for reducing, wash’ em, shake off the excess water, and force the juice though a very fine sieve into a bowl. I like to use the back of a ladle to press all the juice through the mesh. Work the pulp in the sieve to get all of the raspberry goodness out of it. When I’m done there is usually just a seed paste left. Place the liquid in a small sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, making sure that neither the honey or sugar settle to the bottom of the pan before being incorporated – they’ll stay there and burn. Reduce by at least half, or until the mixture will coat the back of spoon. Use hot or cold, and freeze whatever you have left.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine September 11, 2006 at

These are lovely and the sauce sounds intriguing. Cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and whiskey with raspberries? I’ll have to try it. But what the heck is a crowberry?

2 jcockman September 12, 2006 at

They are empetrum, a northen evergreen shrub thatgrows really low to the ground – like and inch or so. Dark berries that usually don’t have a lot of flavor but this year they’ve been huge and lovely.

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