Happy Endings

The right sauce can make a plain old scoop of vanilla ice cream pure bliss. That's the experience that I had a couple of months ago when, in an effort to use the rhubarb that was popping up in my garden and twenty pounds of strawberries that I had overzealously picked, I made a simple dessert sauce. It ended up going over so well that I made a much larger batch, spooned it into jars and popped a few into my freezer for future use.

This sauce is wonderful because it's not only easy to make, you can even use frozen fruit to make it. You'll just need to expect a little more cooking time to soften the fruit once you add it or thaw it in advance. Then you can choose to make a big batch and freeze some of it or make it in smaller batches using frozen fruit throughout the year.

While I'm recommending that you make a sundae with it -- after all, it's August and just too darned hot to fuss with much more -- it's also a great sauce for pancakes, waffles, French toast, pound cake, angel food cake and cheesecake. Of course, I'm sure that there are a lot of other wonderful uses just waiting to be discovered ... but I think I'll wait until it cools down to find them!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sundaes

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. finely diced rhubarb
  • 2 c. sliced strawberries
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Crushed graham crackers or cookies

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Add the water and stir to disolve the sugar. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until bubbling. Add the extract and mix constantly until the mixture is thickened and clear.

Add the rhubarb and continue cooking and stirring frequently until the rhubarb is softened. Add the strawberries and cook until heated through.

Remove the mixture from the stove and, using an immersion blender or a potato masher, crush the remaining pieces of fruit until a sauce is formed. Cool slightly. Serve over vanilla ice cream and sprinkle with graham cracker or cookie crumbs.

  • Yields: 4 cups sauce
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes