One of my favorite modernizations of a classic dish, this wonderful summer dessert can be cooked with any ripened fruit: mangoes, papayas, figs, peaches, plums, cherries—and of course berries. If you use raspberries, throw them in only for the last minute of cooking.
Make a light sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar together in an 8-inch sauté pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and berries to the syrup and cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan gently to coat berries with syrup. Add the butter and continue to cook, swirling the berries and butter around in the pan, until the butter is melted.
Spoon the fruit compote onto 4 plates and place scoops of ice cream in the center of each serving.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.