Blue, Black or Raspberry Reduction · GF (1 1/2 cups )
This process reduces the berries by nearly 50%; essentially removing the bulk of their water content, leaving a concentrated, intensely flavored puree behind. It’s the perfect springboard for imparting a strong berry flavor to a wide variety of desserts.
If using blue or black berries, I think a little lemon or orange zest added in at the end is nice, but that’s entirely optional and up to you. Likewise, when used sparingly, flower waters adds a lovely je ne sais quoi. Orange flower water with blue or black berries and rose flower water with raspberries. Again, it’s optional so use some or none, as you see fit.
18 ounces blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries (frozen work well too)
8 1/2 ounces sugar
the zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange (optional)
a few drops of orange or rose flower water (also optional)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Blitz the berries and sugar together in the bowl of a food processor, or do it by hand by smashing them together with a fork/potato masher. Cover and macerate for one hour.
After the hour has passed, place the berries and juice in a medium sauce pot and turn the heat to medium low. When the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat down to low. Maintain the barest simmer, you should only see very occasional bubbles. Simmer until the mixture reduces by about half.
Reducing the mixture on low heat helps preserve the fresh berry taste; of course you can speed this process by simmering on a higher heat, but it will impart a more pronounced “cooked” flavor. To me, this is less desirable.
When the liquid has sufficiently reduced, whisk in the citrus zest & flower water (if using), and salt.
You now have about 13 ounces of concentrated berry essence; less if you choose to strain out the skins/seeds. (If you do strain, save the seedy pulp to whisk into muffin batter!)
Store refrigerated for about a week, or freeze almost indefinitely.
This reduction is a wonderful thing to have on hand. I love it spooned over or swirled in Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Blend equal parts of the reduction and coconut milk for killer lactose free, vegan Berry Ice Cream. Or use the reduction to flavor Vanilla Bean Marshmallows.
Apr 06, 2013 · 5:28 PM
Hey Luv2cook, long time no see. You know, I’m not sure. I’ve tried using it in cake batter, but it failed pretty miserably (it just screws up the sugar content too much). But I was using a lot. Maybe if you only used a little (like for a swirl) it would turn out alright.
Apr 08, 2013 · 12:05 AM
hahaha, I know that feeling!!
Mar 09, 2017 · 7:27 PM
I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!
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