In the world of desserts, a bowl of vanilla ice cream is like a blank canvas. It can be transformed in myriad ways: with a handful of chopped nuts, a drizzle of hot fudge, a dollop of whipped cream, or—my personal favorite—a generous spoonful of seasonal fruit sauce. This simple, boozy peach sauce makes a perfect dinner party dessert for those nights when it's too hot to even think about turning on the oven.
When it's hot and humid outside, the last thing I want to do is bake a cake or a batch of cookies. Even luscious summer fruit pies lose some of their appeal when I consider the effect that turning the oven on would have on my tiny, insufficiently air conditioned apartment. So when the temperature skyrockets, I turn to simple stove-top sauces that can be prepared quickly and used to dress up store-bought ice cream or pound cake.
This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Juicy peaches are simmered in brown sugar and booze until they melt into a soupy, chunky sauce. You can peel the peaches if you like, but usually I can't be bothered. Try swapping some of the peaches for apricots, or use bourbon, peach schnapps, or dark rum in place of the whiskey. If you can bear to prep a hot water bath, this sauce can be preserved in jars and kept on the shelf for up to a year. Otherwise, store it in the fridge for up to a month.
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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.