Made from frozen berries, basic berry sauce is a simple recipe to have in your back pocket. Use either mixed berries or a single berry such as raspberry, strawberry or blackberry. Terrific over cheesecake, ice cream or yogurt, basic berry sauce works wonderfully over pancakes and waffles for a weekend treat. When making it for dessert I will sometimes add a splash of either Chambord or other berry liqueur for added dimension. For breakfast I prefer the chunky sauce and eliminate the liqueur. No more berry pancake syrup from a bottle!
Easy, Quick, Versatile Basic Berry Sauce
The beauty of basic berry sauce is that it’s quick, easy and versatile. Once you’ve made it you probably won’t need to refer to a recipe. Individually quick frozen (IQF) berries work perfectly and you can always have a bag of frozen berries on hand. Berry sauce can be made either as a smooth puree or left chunky. The fancy term for a pureed sauce is a coulis (pronounced koo-lee).
Trick to Removing Seeds
If pureeing berries for the smooth sauce, I discovered a trick long ago for removing the seeds easily and quickly. Once faced with 16 pounds of blackberries to make sauce for a large dinner event, I kept trying different kitchen tools to push the berries through a round sieve. Once I hit upon using a large stainless steel ladle things went quickly. Place pureed berries in a fine sieve over a bowl and with the ladle remove the seeds by pushing or grinding around the inside of the sieve with the ladle. Discard the seeds.
For a lift of fresh flavor, add lemon juice and a little sweetener depending on the natural sweetness of the berries.
Basic Berry Sauce - Smooth or Chunky
- 20 ounces frozen berries of choice mixed, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, thawed
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup or berry flavored liquid stevia
- 1 tablespoon Chambord or Grand Marnier optional for a dessert sauce
Smooth Berry Sauce
- Puree thawed berries in the small bowl of a food processor or blender until smooth
- Place pureed berries in a fine sieve over a bowl and push berries through with a ladle, pushing hard. Discard seeds.
- Season to taste with lemon juice and sweetener, then mix in the liqueur if using for dessert (optional).
Chunky Berry Sauce
- Use the same ingredients above with frozen berries. Place berries in a small saucepan on low heat to thaw and cook down. I like mixed berries for this sauce. If you are using large whole frozen strawberries, crush them with a fork or hand potato masher as they thaw. Mix in the lemon juice and sweetener to taste. You can also use orange zest and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for a nice touch.