A Particularly Brilliant Way to Savor Those Summery Berries

If I had to make a dream summer food list, strawberries and rosé and ice cream would easily make it into the top five. I eat ripe, juicy berries by the handful when they arrive at the market. Ice cream is a standard post-dinner event: We get cones from one of the little shops in town and wander the pier, licking them as they drip sticky-sweet tracks onto our fingers. And rosé? Well, I drink that all year long, but summer means it shows up on every menu, at every party, and in every cocktail.

So a dessert in which I can eat all three simultaneously sounds like sheer bliss. Luckily, not only does one such dessert exist, but it's a ridiculously simple recipe that is an ideal template for flavor (or fruit) tinkering. You simply need to boil together your wine with a little sugar (I use very little, as the wine and fruit are both sweet), and add in any flavor you like (check out these unusual yet brilliant strawberry pairings. Once the liquid thickens slightly, tip in your berries and let them simmer for just a few minutes. They don't need long to poach since they're so delicate. Remove the berries from the liquid, then continue to cook it until the liquid thickens into a sweet, dark pink syrup.

Ready for you, ice cream! Photo by Posie Harwood

You can add the fruit back into the syrupy poaching liquid, or serve them separately. I like to combine them and let them sit for awhile to let all the flavors mingle. Spoon it all over ice cream, and you have a dreamy pink rosé sundae (for adults)!

A Few Pointers

If you spoon the berries over your ice cream while they're still warm, you'll get a wonderful blend of hot and cold, which makes dessert-eating even more enjoyable.

You can't go wrong with vanilla. Photo by Posie Harwood

Feel free to use any berries that you have, or even substitute other soft fruit like stone fruit. Depending on your fruit, you can vary the flavor profile endlessly. I use lemon zest, vanilla, and a touch of framboise for a fairly straightforward version, but herbs and liquor will go a long way in spinning this dessert in any direction you please.

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Try add in some fresh basil to your poaching liquid instead of vanilla, plus a grind of black pepper to finish the sundae. Or, use a few springs of thyme along with fresh blueberries. Peaches and rosemary would be excellent, as would mint and raspberries.

Whatever combination you choose, you'll be happily on the path to the summer's finest way to enjoy rosé (sorry, frosé!).

Speaking of Summer...

What would you spoon poached berries on top of? Let us know in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.