Strawberry Coulis | CompoteThursday, February 11, 2016
I grew up only seeing strawberry flavoured gums and candies which I used to abhor! and I don't think we used to get berries in the market those days like we do now. I am talking about at least 20 years ago in India. And I had this aversion to anything pink which was the reason I avoided eating anything strawberry - silly isn't it? Only in my late 20s I saw an actual strawberry and loved how pretty and bright they looked...until I popped one into my mouth and ewww.. it was so sour! I never gave them a second chance feeling confused why people were in so much love with it?
So, how did I come to like it? As newly wed, I was served strawberry mousse made with fresh berries by my co-sis-in-law. I was hesitant at first as it was pink but had it anyways and was totally surprised how good it tasted. Totally! Really!... I wondered how I missed out on this all these years! I became a fan of strawberry mousse. nothing else about it. :-)
Shift to Yanbu, I got to know F loves strawberries, but I was zero in dessert making. I learnt to make the egg-less mousse recipe that co-sis was happy to share. I made it so many times, that F got bored of it :-) (why doesn't that happen with eating as such :-P ) I then began to mix the berries with chocolates like I did with this chocolate strawberry cake or just devour the nutella dipped berries! yum! By now my perceptions have changed, there are sweet and sour strawberries and it all depends on how ripe it is. It still does hold on to the sour or tangy taste so the only way to relish the fresh berries are by adding sweetness to it.
Two years down the lane, I believe I have tried quiet a few desserts and cakes with strawberries and so wanted to do the mousse again just for old times sake. So chopped the strawberries, tossed them into the sauce pan with some sugar and let it cook while I was doing my dinner... the fruity berries aroma filled the kitchen and I was imagining a cheese cake with strawberry compote... immediately shifted the gear and off I went to check on how to make compote. I followed the idea from Food 52 article and did my first ever compote. Sorry mousse! am really sorry!
For newbies - compote is a fruit cooked in syrup and coulis is when the compote is cooked further and pureed. As my strawberries were boiling away in sugar turned syrup, I added some lemon zests and waited for it to reach the thick sauce like texture with no lumps which was my personal preference. I did not want any lumps or runny sauce like the usual compote so blitzed it in the blender and transferred to a glass, clicked pictures, cling wrapped and stored in the fridge.
Now for some knowledge sharing do read this article by Serious Eats which will help you to differentiate jams, preserves, conserve, compote, etc. It helped me identify the sauce I made as Coulis which is a cousin of Compote. :-)
To avoid wastage while trimming the strawberry top, use a straw to core out the top. I saw this video accidentally and have been doing that ever since.
Strawberry Coulis | Compote
INGREDIENTS:12 large strawberries washed and trimmed
5 tablespoons sugar
zest of half a lemon
Yields: 1 cup of thick strawberry coulis
Please note, no water is added in this recipe.
- Wash, pat dry and core out /trim the strawberries
- Chop each of them into chunks and toss into a sauce pan along with sugar
- Set the saucepan on the stove-top on lowest flame and occasionally stir to prevent from getting the berries burnt
- When the chunks have started to lose its shape and become more liquid form and in lemon zest and let it cook for couple of minutes
- For making compote, you can stop at this stage and let it cool before packing. If you are like me, fan of Coulis, then let it cook further until thickens completely with fewer lumps
- Do a taste test and add more sweetner or zest and give a final stir before switching off
- Once cooled, blitz it if required and transfer into a air tight glass jar
- Refrigerate and use with a clean dry spoon as needed on ice creams, yoghurt, overnight oats, cheese cakes, bread, etc...
I did a small portion controlled Cheese Cake which I will share next,, InshaAllah.
I have used this as a spread on my brown bread for breakfast, added to overnight oats for couple of days, and added to ice creams too. I used it up within a week and it was good in a glass with cling wrapped. Now I get why foodies are thrilled to crush and torture these berries in hot syrup...it is the best way to get most out of the berries!