Once upon a time, say from the time I was born until my children left home, dessert was a necessary part of every dinner. It could be simple, cookies or some fresh fruit but more often it was pie or cake or some other confection and if it was buried in whipped cream, so much the better. Pineapple Upside Down Cake, warm, moist, spicy gingerbread, strawberry shortcake, all served with whipped cream. Fruit tarts and pies were served with ice cream or if I didn’t have time to bake, a chocolate pudding served warm with vanilla ice cream melting in the center was a favorite.
These days dessert is something we rarely eat. Occasionally Sunday evening is a time for a little ice cream while we watch Masterpiece Theater but pies and cakes and elaborate desserts are only for birthdays or the occasional company meal.
In Sweden we surprised ourselves by frequently ordering dessert. One of the best and the most simple was a Berry Meringue dessert. It consisted of a meringue smothered in lightly sweetened whipped cream, drizzled with a sauce of pureed strawberries and garnished with the fresh fruit.
Strawberry season is over but we have an abundance of raspberries. I love them but the seeds are a problem for my teeth. I’ve been puréeing them to make a simple sauce. It is easy to make and is great over ice cream or a slice of white cake. I also use it to make a nice summery drink. A spoonful of the purée, vodka and soda stirred with ice in a tall glass.
Mash fresh or frozen raspberries with sugar to taste. Once the juices have been released purée the fruit in a food processor or with a hand blended. Put the puréed berries into a sieve and use the back of a spoon to push the fruit through leaving the seeds in the sieve.
A pint of berries will make almost a cup of sauce. It will keep several days in the refrigerator and freezes well.