Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Raisin Blueberry Sauce

I like dessert. I guess it's a family thing. When we were in Hawaii this summer, my brother-in-law was blown away by all the sweets we got--pies, cakes, ice cream, you name it. He's not a dessert person. But Alicia told him, "When we were growing up, there was always dessert. Always." I guess I just thought that was normal.
Which brings us to this recipe, which I made because I felt I wanted something for dessert. I don't necessarily feel comfortable making a cake or a whole batch of brownies just for us, but raisin blueberry sauce sounded like a nice homey dessert that would pair well with one of our other favorite homey desserts, riz au lait (rice pudding). And I was right--it's sweet, tart, fruity, refreshing--a really nice counterpoint to the creamy, bland rice pudding.
But when I tasted it, I also thought, " really seems like I've made this before." And in a way, I have. The big differences here would be that this recipe involves raisins, a touch of cinnamon, and cornstarch right from the beginning. And of course less cornstarch because this is a sauce, not a dessert. I felt a bit like this was a rip-off--the same recipe in two different guises? But no matter: they're both worth making and I suppose they serve different purposes. I would definitely recommend taking 5 minutes and some blueberries (fresh or frozen) to make this sauce, which would be great not just over rice pudding but also with yogurt for breakfast, or pancakes, or pound cake...anything bland and creamy, I would say.

Here's the recipe. Make it in the morning and you'll have dessert in the evening.

Raisin Blueberry Sauce

1/4 c. (1.25 oz.) raisins
1/3 c. (2.3 oz.) sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 T. (1 oz.) water
1-1/2 t. (0.25 oz.) lemon juice
2 c. (8 oz.) blueberries

First you want to cook the raisins to soften them a bit. You can either steam them for 10-15 minutes, or you can put them in a microwave-safe bowl, add about an inch of water, and microwave about 2 minutes. Let cool while you make the rest of the sauce.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in the water and lemon juice, and then add the blueberries. Put over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer another 2 minutes, again stirring just occasionally so as not to disturb the cornstarch too much. Drain the raisins if necessary and add them. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature; chill. Serve cold over something delicious.

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