I could’ve titled this post “2-ingredient fruit sauce.” That surely would’ve garnered more Facebook clicks and web traffic. But I hate touting a recipe’s tiny ingredient list, because it suggests that having a lot of ingredients makes a recipe hard. Which it does not.
So I went with “the easiest fruit sauce ever,” because while I don’t mind a long ingredient list, I also don’t mind ease.
What makes this sauce so easy? Two ingredients, yes. But mostly, it’s the magic of maceration.
Maceration is tossing fruit with sugar and simply setting it aside. Through the miracle of osmosis, the sugar draws moisture out of the fruit, which simultaneously creates a syrupy sauce and softens the fruit, making it tender-delicious. Huzzah!
(For more of the science behind this, see David Joachim and Andrew Schloss’s Food Science column in the June/July issue of Fine Cooking.)
You can get fancier if you want to, replacing the sugar in your maceration with herb- or spice-infused simple syrup to make, for example, cherry rosemary sauce. Or replacing the sugar with a flavorful liquid like fruit juice or booze to make, for example, red wine plum sauce. Or doing both to make, for example, ginger-bourbon peach sauce.
One or two more ingredients, yes. But still crazy-easy.
How to use the easiest fruit sauce ever?
Enjoy it straight up, for a simple fresh fruit dessert. Layer it in a pretty glass, like I have here, turning it into Fresh Fruit Parfaits with Raw Sugar and Whipped Creme Fraiche. Spoon it over pound cake or short cake or pancakes or crepes. Use it as an ice cream sundae sauce.
You get the idea.
With so much incredible fruit in season, right now is a great time to practice the magic of maceration. So try it, perhaps with one of the macerated fruit recipes below.