Today I’m riding the coattails of my favorite ice cream recipes and continuing the celebration of National Ice Cream Month with more ice cream fun. In fact, this week BEB is completely devoted to ice cream treats… I think you’re going to enjoy the different types of recipes that are in the queue! Kicking it off is this amazing homemade strawberry topping sauce. While I’m almost always a hot fudge sundae kinda girl, sometimes there are just days in the summer that scream for some lively fruit flavor on top of creamy vanilla ice cream. The insane heat wave we just had that lasted the better part of 10 days certainly provided multiple opportunities for such ice cream-making decisions. While the store-bought sauce is okay in a pinch, it’s disheartening that two of the first three ingredients listed on the label are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. I may not be the healthiest eater on the face of the planet, but I really try to avoid those ingredients if at all possible. This was the perfect opportunity to conquer yet another homemade version of an ice cream-related recipe (or, ice cream accessory, if you will).
This sauce is positively delicious and will make your kitchen smell unbelievably scrumptious. The strawberry aroma is absolutely outstanding; there is no comparison between this and the store-bought variety – the flavor is bright, fresh and bold. While this is perfect as an ice cream topping, you could also use it on top of waffles, pancakes, crepes or whatever else you enjoy topping with a strawberry sauce!
The beauty of making things at home is that you can make them exactly how you like them. I chopped up the strawberries and cooked almost all of them down, saving a few to stir in at the end so the sauce was still a little chunky. You could choose to slice the strawberries, put them in whole, quartered, or even puree it in a blender at the end if you don’t like any chunks.
As is the case with most pretty things that you can put in a jar and tie a ribbon around, this strawberry sauce would make a wonderful gift. You could make some for the holidays (anything shiny, sparkly and red is always a big hit), or put together a cute little hostess basket if you’re attending a summer party. In lieu of wine, bring all the fixin’s for a great ice cream sundae party – this, along with hot fudge or some other sauces/toppings (stay tuned this week… hint, hint!) would be a great summertime gift.
Or, you can keep it in your fridge, all to yourself. I won’t tell anyone ;-)
Combine the remaining strawberries and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved strawberries and vanilla extract. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before using. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.