I love the pairing of a cool and creamy dessert with an intensely bright, sweet-tart fruit sauce. The combo of richness and refreshment never fails to thrill, especially on warm summer nights.
To this end, one of my favorite things to make is what’s known as a fruit coulis — a French sauce that’s usually made simply with pureed fruit, sugar and maybe some lemon juice to keep it bright and colorful. The pureed mixture is strained for a pure, intense and entirely elegant dessert condiment.
It’s hard to find commercial coulis, but I spotted some jars of it at World Market. While Daniel Boudet’s versions are labeled as “purees,” they’re definitely what the French would call a coulis (in fact, that’s how the bottles are labeled in France). Choose from raspberry, blueberry and strawberry; they’re especially amazing on panna cotta, vanilla cheesecake and ice cream.
Here’s the catch: World Market’s stock varies, which means something you fall in love with one week can be gone the next. Never fear — if they run out of this luscious sauce, enjoy my recipe for a homemade version.
1 (12-ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Put the raspberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Press the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove any seeds; discard the seeds. Cover and refrigerate the coulis until ready to serve. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.