The fruits of summer, especially as they come directly from the field, deserve to be eaten without embellishment. But when a somewhat more elaborate dessert is desired, nothing brings out the flavor of fruits as well as a little wine or liqueur.
Fruits lightly flavored with white wine, orange liqueur, kirsch or another liqueur, perhaps accompanied by the crunch of a few nuts, or poached gently in a slightly sweetened syrup deserve more attention. Try these and you may well agree. MIXED COMPOTE
(6 servings) 1/2 brown sugar 1/4 cup water Juice of 1 orange Juice of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon vanilla 4 cups cut up mixed fresh fruit (peaches, pears, berries)
Combine the sugar, water, orange and lemon juices and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla. Pour hot syrup over the cut up fruits. Chill and serve cold in syrup. RED PLUM COMPOTE (6 servings) 2/3 cup sugar 1 cup dry white wine 1 cup water 4 whole cloves 1 stick (3 inches) cinnamon Zest of 1/2 lemon 18 firm, ripe red plums, stemmed and rinsed.
Combine sugar, wine, water, cloves, cinnamon and lemon in saucepan large enough to hold the plums. Bring ingredients to boil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Add plums and bring mixture to boil; lower heat and simmer the plums 10 to 20 minutes, depending on their ripeness, until they are tender but still hold their shape.
Some plums will be ready before others. Remove them as they are. Then, when all are cooked, return all the plums to the syrup and cool. Chill plums in syrup. SAUCE FOR NECTARINES (About 1 1/2 cups: enough for 8 nectarines) 1 cup sour cream 3 tablespoon creme de cacao 3 tablespoons Seville orange marmalade Dash salt
Combine ingredients andserve with chilled, sliced nectarines.
This sauce is delicious with peaches, too. BLUEBERRY KIR SAUCE (5 servings) 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon butter 1/4 cup creme de cassis liqueur 3/4 cup dry white wine 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 1/2 cups blueberries
Melt butter in saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cassis to make a smooth mixture. Gradually stir in butter. Add wine and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until mixutre is thick. Stir in berries and cook just until they begin to burst. Chill. Serve over vanilla ice cream. STRAWBERRIES WITH KIRSCH AND CREME FRAICHE (10 servings) 2 quarts strawberries 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, or to taste 3 tablespoons kirsch Creme Fraiche (see recipe)
Wash and hull berries, place in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar and kirsch. (Exact quantities should depend on the sweetness and flavor of the strawberries.) Chill berries in refrigerator no more than 2 hours or they will become too soft. Serve with Creme Fraiche .
Most attractive when served from a large glass bowl or in footed goblets. Creme Fraiche Americaine
(1 1/2 cups)
This is a close approximation to the slightly nutty tasting French Creme Fraiche which cannot be duplicated here because of the low butterfat content of American heavy cream. 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup sour cream
Whip heavy cream to a velvet-like consistency, not too stiff. Fold into sour cream, blending well. Chill. PEACHES IN ORANGE LIQUEUR (6 servings) 2 pounds fresh peaches 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup orange liqueur: Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Wash, halve and pit peaches. Arrange, cut side down, one layer deep, in shallow baking pan. Cream together butter and sugar; stir in orange liqueur and lemon juice. Spoon mixture over peaches and refrigrate, if desired. To serve, return to room temperature and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, until peaches are soft. Baste with juices once or twice. Serve warm, not hot.