Fresh Strawberry Compote

Fresh Strawberry Compote

Our Strawberry season is just ending up Nord, here, in Minnesota. So before it’s too late, I’ve been taking advantage and using strawberries, a lot! One is this Fresh Strawberry Compote. It’s just a simple, little sauce but it’s infused with fresh strawberry flavor.

Fresh Strawberry Compote

Fresh Strawberry Compote

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Desserts: Sauces

Here are some of my fave dessert sauces. Some are recipes in their own right, others included in another recipe. I wanted to list them all so none will be forgotten. Enjoy!

chocolate sauces

 

caramel sauces

 

fruit sauces

 

other sauces

 

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Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel – while the name evokes a gourmet treat (and it is) it always makes me want to snort just a little. Make caramel sauce and add a little salt. I know it’s fantastic, but people seem to just go nuts over the name! Anyway, salted or not, you just can’t beat a rich, luscious home-made caramel sauce.

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars

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Guest Post on Go Bake Yourself: Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

A little over a year ago, I was super excited to supply a Guest Post for CCU Uru of Go Bake Yourself, one of Australia’s premier bloggers. This week, when I remade this cheesecake, I updated with new photos and am reissuing this post so everyone can see it and maybe think about making it this Christmas! It is just so flippin’ good – make it, and you’re welcome!!! 🙂

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars

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Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce

When I was a child, it seemed this sauce was almost ubiquitous! It would sneak into Church suppers and funeral luncheons, it was served at school hot lunches, in diners, and sometimes found its way home to appear on some dessert or another.

Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce - it can be made with or without Raisins

Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce – it can be made with or without Raisins

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Hungry Mum’s Custard Sauce – Creme Anglaise . $1.45

Some custard sauces of today, or Creme Anglaise as they are sometimes known, are getting a bit out of hand. I recently saw one with 6 eggs and a vanilla bean, and while it must have been awesome, I like the idea of this classic sauce from the Hungry Mum. It’s delicious, silky and lovely, and won’t “steal” the show when served with another dessert. It has just the right amount of body to pour and nap, then pool, enveloping your dessert within it’s rich embrace.

Creme Anglaise, Custard Sauce

Creme Anglaise, Custard Sauce

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Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Apricot Caramel Sauce . $1.58

An Apricot Caramel Sauce? To American tastes, the combination of dried fruit and caramel may seem a bit different, but it is absolutely surprising and certainly delicious.

Apricot Caramel Sauce - made for Austrian Crepes but so good over anything vanilla!

Apricot Caramel Sauce – made for Austrian Crepes but so good over anything vanilla!

Easy to make, watch the sugar carefully and don’t burn it – if it becomes darker around the edges or you catch even the faintest whiff of a burnt smell, move your pan off the heat and keep stirring until the sugar is melted, moving it back on if needed. A fork seems to work very well for stirring.

Blend a long time – there will be some texture; if that bothers you, simply strain it while it is still liquid enough to sieve. Once it cools, it thickens, so rewarm if necessary.

This is the caramel I normally serve with my Baked Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce. It’s so good in or on so many things. The dried apricots may be replaced with a different dried fruit.

Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, served with Apricot Caramel Sauce

Apricot Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: abt 3 cups
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup firmly packed dried apricots (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a dry heavy saucepan (about 3-quart capacity) cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork until melted and then swirling pan, until sugar is a golden caramel, perhaps just a bit past golden towards amber, but not too dark.

Remove pan from heat and carefully add 3 cups water down side of pan (it will bubble up and steam). Return pan to heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved.

Slice apricots and add to pan. Simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Cool mixture 10 minutes and in a blender purée with vanilla until very smooth. Add any or all of the additional water if desired.

Sauce may be made several days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat sauce to warm.

Put Your own Spin on It

I’ve made this before with both pears and peaches instead of apricots and both are wonderful! I’ve not yet tried dried apples, but I imagine they’d give a lovely flavor to the sauce.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Strategies Applied:
  • Sugar: Look for sugar on sale, which usually happens around the holidays. While any holiday generates a sales price, the best sales are generally from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when coupons are abundant. Check out Aldi for your sugar; their prices are generally great. A rule of thumb: A store brand on sale will often beat a name brand on sale with a coupon. Aldi generally beats both. 1 cup is about 8 cents.
  • Dried Apricots: Dried fruit can be downright cheap when purchased on sale with a coupon, especially during the Christmas sales. The Holidays are a great time to buy dried fruit of any kind at a low price.  Regular price for Apricots, 6 ounces was $2.99. Sale price $1.00, coupon, $1.00 off two, final cost was $1.50.

Intensely Chocolate Syrup

With a few pantry ingredients and about five minutes of time, you can whip together a chocolate syrup that is so unbelievably good it doesn’t even deserve the same name as they store-bought kind. It’s so good, you’ll feel sorry for every poor creature out there who has never had the opportunity to taste this elixir.

Intensely Chocolate Syrup

Intensely Chocolate Syrup

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