I am not sure if it is because it is summer or because all my energy has been going into the remodel but I find I am choosing very simple desserts to make for our gatherings. It also seems like most of the desserts I’ve made lately are fruit, which is nutritious and hopefully somewhat lower in calories.
For the fourth, we had a nearly spontaneous gathering here for dinner. We invited one couple over and then I was talking to some mutual friends and invited them. They had friends and relatives come to visit so I said to bring them along. Then another group called to ask if we were doing anything fun for the fourth of July so I invited them and their roommate and friend. And voila, it is a party!
I know that among this group of friends there are a few vegetarians and one gluten free, dairy free eater. So I tried to make sure there would be something for everyone. For appetizers we had fresh salsa, bean and queso dip and guacamole. Then I grilled some balsamic sesame vegetable kabobs and balsamic chicken, along with grilled corn on the cob, basmati rice and a few salads which people brought. We were also given some wonderful food from an Afghan restaurant (where my daughter works) because we spent most of the day helping them with a little emergency clean up and repair at the restaurant. They gave us a huge dish of eggplant and tomato and some potato bollani. Okay, I know most Fourth of July dinners are all BBQs with things like hamburgers and hot dogs but that just didn’t sound good or fit the group of people we were coming. So we had a mish mash of various cultural foods and to me that exemplifies a key component of America! Diverse cultural backgrounds all coming together.
As I said, desserts have been simple fruit dishes and tonight was super easy to make!
Blueberry Sauce over Ice cream, waffles, cake, yogurt, or
1 ½ lbs. or 2 dry pints of blueberries, cleaned and sorted
1 ½ cups white sugar (more or less as desired)
2 tsp. lemon zest, grated fine or chopped very fine
¼ cup water
1 TBSP lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½-2 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 1 ½ tsp. cold water
In heavy medium sauce pan over medium low, heat blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, juice and water. Stir often for about 20 – 25 minutes until blueberries soften and sauce begins to thicken up a bit.This may take a bit longer. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cornstarch slurry. Return to heat and stir until bubbly and a bit thicker.
I like to leave the sauce as is but you can put some or all of it through a wire mesh sieve. The sauce is syrupy by design for pouring over ice cream or on waffles or pancakes. Other uses include drizzling over cake or cheese blintzes.
I like to cool the sauce for ice cream as it will melt the ice cream too quickly if it is hot. But you can serve this blueberry sauce hot, cold or room temperature! It keeps in the fridge for several days to a week, as far as I know. We usually eat it up pretty quickly. I believe it should freeze well if you have any left over.