In honor of our giveaway of a signed, first-edition of Sally’s A New Way to Cook, we thought we’d publish 3 recipes for summer that are both crazy-simple (one has only 1 ingredient!) and dazzling. They make up just a fraction of the book’s chapter on fruit desserts. It includes a guide for improvising flavored syrups for making quick, memorable fruit salads, which is what’s happening in the photo above. Think Vanilla Bean; Cherry Eau-de-Vie; Rosewater; Basil and Cinnamon; Rosemary, Lavender and Honey; Whisky and White Peppercorn syrups to adorn peaches, aprictos, melons, cherries, berries, mangos…
To enter, just comment if you’d like a copy of A New Way to Cook and we will pick a winner at random on June 19th.
And now, here are Three Crazy-Simple Fresh Fruit Desserts:
In late June in New York’s Chinatown, the brittle rose-brown shells of fresh lychees are stewn on the walkways in the shaded parks: telltale evidence of impromptu open air snacks of the beloved fruit. Wrapped in a thin, pliable shell, the silky opalescent fruit inside has an intoxicatingly exotic aroma, a delicious perfume really. Lychees have increased so much in popularity among Westerners of late that I have found them in many supermarkets as well as gourmet and Asian markets.
My friend Anne Disrude had the inspired idea to freeze lychees whole in their shell. She places a bowl of them on the dinner table for guests to peel themselves to enjoy the frozen sorbet-like flesh within for an effortless and dramatic dessert, especially when paired with homemade cookies.
Buy lychees by the pound and still on their branches if possible. No ripening is required. They will last 2-3 weeks under refrigeration. Stored in a plastic bag in the freezer, they will keep 2-3 months.
Tropical Fruits with Passion Fruit Sauce
Inside the homely puckered brown shell of the passion fruit, is a bright orange pulp with a marvelously complex flavor that mingles pineapple, orange and banana. It makes a lovely instant sauce for a variety of fruits, particularly tropical ones such as mango, papaya, banana and pineapple although peaches and strawberries go well with it also.
The pulp of one passion fruit will dress a 1-cup serving of fruit. Simply slice the passion fruit in half crosswise and scoop out the pulp. Strain if desired, although the seeds can be eaten and add a pleasant crunch. Toss fresh cut fruits with it.
White Peaches with Crushed Raspberry Sauce
La Merenda, a tiny restaurant near the Cours Selaya market in Nice is considered by many to be one of the city’s finest bistros, renown for the simple preparation of perfect ingredients. There I tasted as lovely a dessert as I have ever encountered: an ordinary sounding “compote” of raspberries and peaches. The raspberries however were crushed with a fork rather than pureed, leaving their texture intact and providing a wonderfully elemental effect. The perfectly ripe peaches were white ones with the characteristic haunting fragrance, with overtones of vanilla. They were simply tossed with the coarse sauce whose slight acidity enhanced their extraordinary flavor. For 6 servings:
In a medium bowl mashed 2 cups fresh raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice with a fork until coarsely crushed. Just before serving, peel 6 ripe peaches, slice into 1/2 inch slices and toss with the puree to coat. Serve at once.
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