This is a wonderful preparation for raspberries and blackberries that are just past presentation-perfect appearance. Because the berries are ripe and sweet, be judicious with the amount of sugar and lemon juice you add. Let your palate be your guide. Similarly, if adding a liqueur, use an amount suitable to the application. For rich cakes, a heavier hand may preferable; however, if using with a crème brûlée or custard, start with a few drops and add a few more to taste. Your goal is to elevate the flavor of the berries and provide a mechanism to deliver the sweetness to the palate.
Makes approximately 1 ½ cups
2 cups (1 pint) of berries
¼ cup sugar
Scant ¼ teaspoon frambois, kirsch, or chambord liqueur, or to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Combine the berries, sugar, and a bit of the liqueur, if using. Allow to macerate at room temperature for half an hour. Purée the berries and collected liquid in a blender. Pour the contents through a fine sieve over a clean bowl. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid. Taste. Adjust the flavors with a few drops of lemon, or a pinch of sugar. Cover and refrigerate.
Use as a sauce on top of cakes, crème brûlée, or custard. For custard applications, place about 1 or 2 tablespoons on top of the custard and lightly swirl.
Recipe and photo by Donna Marie Zotter