(Almost) Labor-Free Labor Day Fruit Thing

by Jessica Harper
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Fruit-dessert1So as the days of summer dwindle, so does my supply of summer fruit. The bowl that I filled on Thursday with the bounty from the farmers’ market was down to a few lonely items by Sunday.

I was gonna make a cake or a tart or a cobbler or a pie but a) everybody’s so annoyingly calorie-phobic and b) I’m too lazy. (Isn’t Labor Day supposed to be Labor-free?) So I embraced my inner sloth and just threw together something so simple you barely have to be conscious to make it.

The hardest part was locating my cherry pitter, which I’d received as a hostess gift some time in the ‘90’s from someone who didn’t know me well enough to know how seldom that tool would see the light of day.

I only had a few cherries, so the task of pitting them was over before it could become annoying. I threw them into a saucepan, added my two remaining nectarines and what was left of my berry stash and cooked ‘em up with a little sugar, lemon and orange zest. Now I’ve got this lovely, almost labor-free compote and only one task remains. Hint: it involves an ice cream scoop.

(Almost) Labor-free Labor Day Fruit Thing

2 cups blueberries
2 nectarines, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup raspberries

1. Place the blueberries, nectarines and cherries in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, lemon juice, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of water.

2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken and the fruit is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the raspberries and turn off the heat.

3. Allow the mixture to cool for ten minutes. Serve warm, over vanilla ice cream (or Haagen-Dasz Vanilla Raspberry Swirl Frozen Yogurt). (You can also cool it completely and serve room temperature or chilled.)

Variations: Add a teaspoon or two of Grand Marnier or Framboise. Or serve it over a meringue, with whipped cream. Or pour it on top of pound cake or pancakes. 

 

Jessica Harper is an actor/author who lives in Los Angeles and New York. Her latest book is "The Crabby Cook Cookbook," and she also blogs at http://www.jessicaharper.com and at http://www.thecrabbycook.com.

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