A fruit coulis (from the Latin ‘colare’ to strain – hence also the word ‘colander’) is a thick sauce made from puréed and strained fruit (there are also vegetable coulis). The straining is best done with a fine-meshed conical sieve.

They are quick and uncomplicated to make and, if you are artistic, you can use them like paint – to draw on swirls and zig zags of colour. This is best done by putting the coulis into a plastic squeezy bottle with a nozzle. Alternatively, if you are less skilled you can either make a large lake on your plate and drop whatever your coulis is going with in the centre of it. Or you can go for the coating/glazing option.

In addition to the types below you can also try a kiwi fruit version, blend the peeled fruit with lime juice and honey; a passion fruit version, blend the scooped out pulp and seeds with honey and some orange juice; or a plum or cherry version, mix this one with honey and kirsch.

 

Blackberry coulis (for about six with ice cream):

  • 300g/10 oz frozen blackberries
  • 2 teasp honey
  • 3 tbsp kirsch or brandy
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Bring the blackberries to the boil
  2. Add the other ingredients
  3. You can serve just as it is, but to make it into a coulis you need to liquidise and press it through a sieve

Use with:

  • Warm with cold meat
  • Hot with ice cream
  • Warm with poached pears

 

Mango coulis:

  • 3 ripe mangoes
  • 1 teasp vanilla bean paste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 teasp icing sugar
  1. Peel, destone and chop the mangoes
  2. Cover with a little water and add the vanilla past and the sugar
  3. Boil and simmer until the fruit is soft
  4. Blend in a liquidiser while still warm, push it through a sieve, taste, and add more sugar if necessary

how to use:

  • Mix with meringue, ice cream and dark chocolate sauce
  • Layer yoghurt with the mango coulis and granola and top with the coulis
  • Top a panna cotta with mango coulis. Go to Spoon Fork Bacon for some great photographs and the recipe

 

Peach coulis

For peach coulis, do the same as for mango coulis but use four or five peaches, depending on size

 

Raspberry coulis (serves about four people over poached apples):

  • 200g/7 oz frozen raspberries
  • 40g/1½ oz icing sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsps kir (Crème de Cassis) or Drambuie or Kirsch
  1. Bring the raspberries to the boil
  2. Mix in the other ingredients
  3. Liquidise and push through a sieve (ideally twice) using a rubber spatula

use with:

  • key lime pie
  • poached apples
  • peach melba

 

Strawberry coulis:

Made with fresh (don’t be tempted to use frozen) overripe strawberries, drained green peppercorns, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds. It’s also good with mint.

use with:

The Dracula – an amzing mix of Coca Cola, vanilla ice cream and strawberry coulis

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