Orange Melba Sauce

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Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

This is my take on classic Melba sauce, that exquisite raspberry sauce that famed French chef Auguste Escoffier whipped up for his favorite opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba.

The original sauce is a heady mixture of raspberries, current jelly, sugar, and cornstarch. In this version, I’ve done away with the current jelly and the cornstarch (a generous amount of sugar helps thicken the sauce as it reduces), and added a little orange juice. It’s my favorite thing to drizzle over cheesecake. I’m also totally guilty of eating it straight, with a spoon.

If you can, make this sauce with fresh raspberries and freshly squeezed orange juice. The brightness and acidity of the orange juice will help to bring out that luscious raspberry flavor.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

If you use frozen raspberries, you may need to tinker around with the timing. Frozen berries will have more water than fresh, so you may need to simmer it longer to get it to thicken up.

Orange Melba Sauce: A note on timing (a.k.a. make it ahead)

This sauce takes almost no time to put together. That said, make it a few hours before you want to serve it because it needs to cool completely to finish thickening up.

In a pinch, you could spread it in a shallow (heatproof & freezer safe) dish and stick it in the freezer to try to cool it faster…just keep an eye on it if you do this.

Other things to do with Orange Melba Sauce

  • Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream
  • Serve with a fat stack of fresh Belgium waffles or pancakes
  • Pour it over thick slices of pound cake and finish with fresh whipped cream
  • Shake a little up with a big hunk of ice, a few shots of vodka, and some fresh lime juice for a fabulous, juicy cocktail (or pour a little in the bottom of a flute and fill with your favorite champagne or prosecco)

This is good stuff. You get the idea.

Orange Melba Sauce

12 oz. fresh raspberries
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sugar

Makes about 1 cup

Combine raspberries, orange juice, and sugar

Grab your raspberries. Sort through them and toss any that look suspect. Put them in a medium-sized pot.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Pour in the orange juice.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Add the sugar. Give the pot a stir.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Cook the melba sauce

Turn your stove on to medium-high heat and bring the mixture up to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

When the mixture boils, stir it constantly. After a minute or two, start to smoosh the berries against the side of the pot to break them down.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Boil like this for a few more minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and syrupy. (It should coat the back of a spoon.)

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Give the sauce a taste before you strain it. If it’s too sweet for you, add a little more orange juice (or even some lemon juice) and cook until thick again.

Strain and cool the orange melba sauce

When it’s nice and thick, pour the mixture through a strainer set over a bowl.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Stir the mixture in the strainer with a spoon to help push it through.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

The sauce should be thick and glossy.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then pop it into the fridge to chill it completely. It will continue to thicken up as it cools.

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Serve and enjoy!

Orange Melba Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

(Click here to see the cheesecake.)

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

20 COMMENTS

  1. OMG, you are killing me with the cheesecake-related photos and stuff. I haven’t had cheesecake in ages… and I think it’s time to end the drought! And this sauce looks like perfection. I think I’ll make it for our “welcome back to Switzerland” dinner!

  2. HI jessie, instead of rasberries can we use blueberries with the orange juice? will that b ok?
    Btw, i’ve tried this on waffles, it tastes great with it.

    Keep it up 😀

  3. I made this last night and it was ZOMGood!

    XD I made it for a chocolate pie topping, and I didn’t strain the seeds because I like them.

    Man, it was so hard to stop myself from just eating it all with a spoon. (I was planning to coat my chocolate pie with raspberry jam before someone showed me this.)

    Wonderful! *hophophop*

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