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Recipe

Flavored Sugars for Quick Desserts

Scott Phillips

These “almost-instant” flavored sugars are a boon to busy cooks and strawberry lovers. Just hull and slice a pint of strawberries and add one of these flavored sugars. Let the berries sit for 5 or 10 minutes for the sugar to dissolve and the flavors to blend, and you’ve got dessert. Shown at right is one of many possible variations: Stir mint sugar into sliced strawberries and cubes of fresh mango; top with yogurt.  See all the recipes below for more flavored sugars.

Ingredients

Lemon or Lime Sugar

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon or lime zest

Preparation

  • Process the sugar and zest in a coffee or spice grinder (or pound the zest and half the sugar in a mortar until finely ground; stir in the remaining sugar). Or stir the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  • Serving idea: Hull and slice a pint of strawberries and stir in the lemon sugar. Serve layered with strawberry and mango sorbets in a tall glass.
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fennel Sugar

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
    Scant 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
  • Process the sugar and fennel seeds in a coffee or spice grinder (or pound the seeds and half the sugar in a mortar until finely ground; stir in the remaining sugar).
  • Serving idea: Hull and slice a pint of strawberries and stir in the fennel sugar. Serve with dollops of sweetened Greek yogurt or fresh ricotta cheese.
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mint Sugar

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
    4 to 6 fresh mint leaves
  • Process the sugar and mint leaves in a coffee or spice grinder (or pound the mint and half the sugar in a mortar until finely ground; stir in the remaining sugar).
  • Serving idea: Hull and slice a pint of strawberries, toss with cubes of mango, and stir in the mint sugar.
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ginger Sugar

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
    1 quarter-size piece crystallized ginger
  • Process the sugar and ginger in a coffee or spice grinder (or pound the ginger and half the sugar in a mortar until finely ground; stir in the remaining sugar.
  • Serving idea: Hull and slice a pint of strawberries and stir in the ginger sugar. Spoon over brownies or meringues.
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Vanilla Sugar

  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
    1-inch piece of a vanilla bean, finely chopped
  • Process the sugar and chopped vanilla in a coffee or spice grinder (or pound the vanilla and half the sugar in a mortar until finely ground; stir in the remaining sugar).
  • Serving idea: Hull and slice a pint of strawberries and stir in the lemon sugar. Serve layered with strawberry and mango sorbets in a tall glass.

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