Adventures in Eating: Hot Lemon Sauce

The season is upon us, and one of my favorite no effort pastimes is to ask people if they arc to be the chef of the day. If the answer is affirmative, I then ask what they will be serving their guests. I never fail to get a big smile and a list of what always sounds delectable (especially if I am not the one to do the work).

Julian, where we now live, is known as mountain “apple country”. Back in the 1840’s, it was a gold min­ing town, and at one time, $70,000,000 dollars worth of gold was taken from our hills. By the turn of the century, however, the existing gold was too costly to mine, so folks who thought to stay here, changed di­rections.

Some went into ranching, as pasture lands are plentiful and, one enterpris­ing fellow, decided to plant apple and pear trees. We still have several varie­ties of pears that are grown, but ap­ples are what draw people to our com­munity. During apple days, which starts in October, up to 8,000 people will be roaming the 4 blocks of Main street on a given weekend.

You will see them walking around town, arms loaded carrying boxes of freshly baked apple pies.

One establishment will sell up to 3,000 pies on one of those weekends. There are 7 pie companies in our little town of 1400 population, and all seem to be doing well.

We do have one manicurist in Julian, and during my visit with her, I asked if she was hosting her family for Thanksgiving. “Yes”, was her answer and the next question followed. The “piece de resistance” was the dessert. Apple pie from the Julian Pie Company. Therefore, my mind went into gear. Had she ever served this lovely pie with a sauce? This caught her in­terest, and so I share the recipe I gave her with you. It is equally good over mincemeat pie. This can be made 2 days ahead.

(About 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup sugar
2 tbls. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
3 tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbls. butter
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Stir in water. Cook over. low heat until mixture thickens and becomes clear, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon juice, butter, and lemon peel. Serve hot or warm over pud­dings, pies, cakes, etc.

VARIATIONS: hot rum sauce: reduce lemon juice to 1 tbls., omit peel, and stir in 3 tbls. rum or brandy with but­ter. Serve on hot ginger bread. Add raisins to sauce while cooking in both variations. Great over bread pudding. Have a grand time!

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