What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups fruit, diced if larger than raspberries
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
pinch of salt
citrus juice (lemon or lime) for balance
How to Do It:
Heat fruit, sugar and salt with a little water to get things going. Bring to a boil.
Turn heat down and simmer sauce until reduced by about 1/3.
Add citrus juice to balance the sweetness–start with 1 tablespoon and go from there, if necessary. Strain and cool.
You can also use frozen fruit puree, (affiliate) if you can get your hands on some. In that case:
Heat about 1/2 the puree with the sugar/salt/water.
Bring to a boil and then, at a simmer, reduce by 1/2. Stir in the rest of the puree off the heat. This will help to keep the color brighter.
A dessert gastrique is similar to coulis, but it contains some vinegar for a hit of acidity. They are especially nice when paired with very rich desserts as the vinegar brings some brightness to the plate.
What You’ll Need
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (any kind but distilled white vinegar. There are tons of different vinegars out there, so use what will complement your fruit)
1 cup fruit juice or puree
How to do it:
Heat all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until somewhat reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Strain and cool.
You can also take a naturally sweet vinegar, such as balsamic or pomegranate, and slowly reduce it to a syrup by simmering until you achieve a syrup.
A gastrique can help balance a very sweet dessert. Think of balsamic vinegar on strawberries. Same idea.