Roasting fruit in brown butter and maple syrup creates an incredibly rich and delicious dessert sauce that's perfect for drizzling over ice cream, cake, pancakes, or waffles.
When you live in a climate with long winters, one of the best things about spring and summer is fresh fruit. During the warmer months, when sweet, juicy melon, berries, and stone fruit are in season, I can't get enough.
When fresh fruit is at its peak, the only preparation necessary is some peeling and chopping. But, cooking it in brown butter and maple syrup further concentrates the flavor of the fruit and transforms it into a decadent, creamy dessert sauce that's perfect for spooning over pound cake, cheesecake, buttermilk pancakes, or a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Also... how is fruit cooked in brown butter and maple syrup EVER not going to be delicious? I mean, come on.
How to Make this Simple Roasted Fruit Sauce
Honestly, the trickiest part of making this dessert sauce is browning the butter. Brown butter is rich, complex, and nutty. It adds a tremendous amount of flavor to roasted fruit, but can go from gorgeously brown to burnt in a second.
#1. Heat butter over medium-low heat, and once it melts, watch it carefully. The butter will foam as it melts and then change colors, going from yellow to golden, to a toasty brown.
That toasty brown color is what you're looking for, with darker brown bits on the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell nutty and toasted. As soon as the butter is brown and smells nutty, add the maple syrup, which will keep it from burning.
#2. Add some chopped fruit to the maple syrup and butter mixture, bring it to a boil, and then put the whole thing in the oven to roast for a few minutes.
3. After roasting, remove the fruit from the sauce and let the sauce cook over high heat. This will reduce the sauce, allowing much of the water to evaporate so that you end up with a concentrated, think sauce.
Stir in some more butter (mmmmm, butter), add the fruit back in, and presto! You have fruit sauce so delicious you'll want to pour it over EVERYTHING.
What kind of fruit works best in this dessert sauce?
This roasted fruit sauce works particularly well with stone fruit like peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots. But, it's also delicious with pineapple, bananas, and apples.
Most fruit will roast in about 10 minutes. Apples are the exception, needing 15-20 minutes to get tender. Just pay attention to how soft and ripe the fruit you're using is and adjust the roasting time accordingly.
Unless you put the pan in the oven and forget about it completely, you won't mess it up. Making this dessert sauce is not a super exact process.
If you're unsure, just pull a piece of fruit from the oven and taste it. If it's soft and flavorful, you're good to go.
Can this sauce be made with fruit that isn't fully ripe?
I'm writing this from Colorado in mid-June. All I really want is a fresh Colorado peach, which won't be available for at least another month.
The ones currently on supermarket shelves come from California and they are hard and underripe, and not very juicy. I bought them anyway, used them for this sauce, and they were fantastic.
Even though the sugar content of fruit increases as it ripens, there is still plenty of natural sugar in unripe fruit. Roasting fruit concentrates those sugars, intensifying the flavor and sweetness, and softening it up.
Making this sauce is one of the most delicious things to do with unripe fruit.
More brown butter recipes
More dessert sauce recipes
Maple Roasted Fruit is a Building Block Recipe
Building block recipes are tried-and-true recipes that I consider foundational to great home baking. They are the kind of recipes I come back to over and over again, sometimes baking them as is, but often using them as a jumping off point to create something new. > Scroll through all Building Block recipes.
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- 2 ½ lbs fruit (6 - 8 cups sliced fruit) *See note
- 4 teaspoon lemon juice, divided (more to taste)
- 12 tablespoon (6 oz) salted butter
- 1 ½ cups (16.5oz/ 468g) pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
- Peel fruit and cut into 2-3 inch chunks or slices. Toss with 2 teaspoon of lemon juice (this will prevent the fruit from browining).
- Add 8 tablespoons of the butter (4oz) to a large oven-proof skillet and set it over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is toasty brown with darker brown bits on the bottom of the pan, and smells nutty. Watch it carefully - butter can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly.
- Stir in the maple syrup and salt, then add the fruit. Bring the mixture back to boiling then put the entire skillet in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes. (*If using apples, cook for 15-20 minutes, until they are fork tender.)
- Remove the skillet from the oven and use a slotted spoon to remove the fruit, placing it on a plate or in a bowl.
- Set the skillet over medium-high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Let cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly and is reduced to 1 - 1 ¼ cups.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons (2oz) of butter, adding it one tablespoon at a time, stirring until one addition is completely melted before adding more. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Taste the sauce and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.
- Stir in the fruit and serve over Pound Cake, Cheesecake, Buttermilk Pancakes, or Ice Cream.
What kind of fruit should you use to make this dessert sauce?
Any kind of stone fruit will work in this recipe - peaches, plums, apricots, or nectarines. You can also use sliced pineapple, bananas or apples. And, while I haven't tried it yet, I imagine mangos would also be delicious.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 41gProtein: 1g