This Mixed Berry Coulis is a quick, easy and versatile recipe made from 4 simple ingredients only. The thick berry sauce is delicious as a sweet topping for pancakes, waffles, cheesecake, cakes, yogurt, ice cream and many other desserts!
Why we love this recipe
This mixed berry coulis is not only super quick and easy to make (think 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes until ready), it is also super versatile! This recipe is a thin, smooth version of my Mixed Berry Compote.
Whether you are looking for a cake or cheesecake topping, a berry sauce to serve over your favourite breakfast food like pancakes or waffles or a simple addition to a bowl of yogurt or ice cream, this berry coulis is for you!
What is a coulis
A coulis is a type of thin sauce made from cooked, pureed and strained fruits or vegetables. The word "coulis" comes from the French verb "couler" which means to drip, to pour or to flow, referring to the smooth, thin texture of the sauce.
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What is mixed berry coulis made of:
- Mixed Berries: I used a mix of Raspberry, Strawberries, Blueberries and Blackberries. The fruits I used come in a frozen mix, but you can absolutely make your own mix (from either fresh or frozen fruits) and use your favourites berries in addition such as cherries.
- Lemon Juice: used to balance out the sweet taste of berries. Because lemon juice is high in pectin, it will also help to set the sauce slightly.
- Sugar: simple caster sugar or superfine white granulated sugar. You can use brown sugar as well for a slightly more caramelised taste. Note that this recipe is relatively low in sugar; feel free to increase the quantity to suit your taste!
I have not tested this recipe with a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or honey.
- Vanilla Extract: optional, but a great and simple way to boost the flavour of your coulis.
- Spices: the sauce will be great with the addition of cinnamon (simply add one or two cinnamon sticks while the fruits are cooking), star anise or ginger.
- Citrus: for extra flavour, you could for example add some lemon zest or orange zest to the preparation. The lemon juice can also be substituted with lime juice.
How to make Berry Coulis step-by-step
- If using frozen berries, place them in a large bowl and leave them to thaw at room temperature until soft. Strain them to remove any excess water before starting to make the berry coulis.
You can also use them straight from the freezer but you will need to cook them for longer to both thaw the fruits and evaporate the extra moisture contained in the fruits.
- Optionally, cut the larger berries like strawberries and raspberries into halves or quarters.
- Photo 1: Place the mixed berries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Stir well to evenly coat the fruits with the sugar.
- Photo 2: Turn on low to medium heat and leave to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, occasionally mixing with a heat-proof spatula to insure the fruits don't stick to the bottom of the sauce pan. When ready, the fruits should be very soft, have broken apart and the juices should have thickened.
If the fruits start to burn quickly (or you see a lot of steam being released straight away), I recommend turning down the heat. You might want to add one or two tablespoons of water to help them start cooking.
Note that the exact cooking time can vary based on the ripeness of the fruits, how small or big the berries are and if you are using fresh or frozen fruits.
- Photo 3: Transfer the berry compote into a clean bowl or large measuring jug. Allow to cool down for 10 minutes then use an immersion blender to blend the compote until no large chunks remain. You should get a thick sauce.
Alternatively, simply blend the fruit in a regular blender.
- Photo 4: Pour the berry sauce through a thin mesh sieve to discard any remaining chunks of fruits and seeds. If needed, repeat the process to get the sauce as smooth as you want.
- Transfer the berry coulis into an airtight container or jar and place in the fridge to cool down.
A compote is a thick, chunky sauce made from slowly cooking ("compoter" in French) a fruit or vegetable on the stove. A coulis is made the same way as a compote but is then blended (and optionally sieved) to get a thin, smooth sauce.
For this recipe, I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. But you can really add or use any types of berries you want like cherries or even cranberries.
The final taste of your coulis can change a lot based on the type of berries you use, so keep that in mind when you choose your fruits. A larger amount of raspberries or blackberries will create a tangier sauce than one made with a lot of strawberries for example.
Yes, but I recommend thawing them first until soft then strain to remove any excess water.
You could use them straight from the freezer but it will take a little bit longer for your compote to cook. I also recommend adding a little bit of water to the saucepan to help the frozen fruit thaw at the start.
A coulis should be thin, slightly liquid and easily pourable. It is much thinner and liquid than a jam. I personally like to keep some of the seeds from the berries for extra texture but you could discard them all if preferred.
There is no rule when it comes to consistency though - you can have it very thin or keep it a bit more chunky (by not sieving it for example). For a thicker sauce, you can also add a little bit of cornstarch or flour to your mixture while it is reducing on the stove.
Tips & Tricks
- Cooking time: the exact time it will take to cook the fruits will depend on their ripeness, how much liquid they naturally contain and if you use fresh or frozen berries. For a thick sauce, make sure to cook the coulis until the fruits are really soft and the juices have thickened.
- Consistency & texture: the more you cook the fruits and reduce their juices, the thicker the coulis will be. I only poured the sauce through a thin mesh sieve once to keep a little bit of a crunch from the berry seeds but you can repeat the process until you reach your desired consistency.
- Coulis taste and sweetness: you can really play with the type of berries you use (and in which proportions) to create a sauce that is sweeter or more tart. For example, using more strawberries and blueberries than raspberries or blackberries will give you a slightly sweeter sauce. You can also slightly increase the sugar content if you want a sweet coulis.
How to use berry sauce
- As a breakfast topping over Banana Pancakes, waffles, Brioche Bread French Toast, French Crêpes or French Toast Casserole.
- Mixed with yogurt, drizzled over granola or simply poured over vanilla ice cream.
- Spread over cakes and cheesecakes like Lemon Ricotta Cake, Chocolate Fondant Cake or Strawberry Crumble Cake.
- Used as a sauce over desserts like Raspberry Panna Cotta, Apple and Blueberry Crumble, Berry Parfaits or Strawberry Mousse.
- As an ingredient inside other baking preparation like the Berry Meringue Cookies from my cookbook "Bite-Sized French Pastries".
Storing & Freezing
This mixed berry coulis should be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Because it is relatively low in sugar, this recipe is not meant to be canned or preserved.
The coulis will also freeze well for up to 3 months. You can freeze individual portions using an ice tray or larger batches in freezing bags for example.
Made this recipe?
Let us know if you liked it by leaving a comment below, and tag us on Instagram @a.baking.journey with a photo of your creation!
Mixed Berry Coulis
- 500 gr Mixed Berries (see note 1) - fresh or frozen, thawed & drained
- 50 gr Caster Sugar
- 15 ml Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract - optional
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- If using frozen berries, place them in a large bowl and leave them to thaw at room temperature until soft. Strain them to remove any excess water before starting to make the mixed berry sauce.
- Optionally, cut the larger berries like strawberries and raspberries into halves or quarters (the fruits will cook more quickly).
- Place the berries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium size saucepan. Stir well to evenly coat the fruits with the sugar then place on low to medium heat.
- Leave to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, occasionally stirring with a heat-proof spatula to insure the fruits don't stick to the bottom of the sauce pan. If the fruits seem to cook (or burn) too quickly, reduce the heat. When ready, the fruits will be very soft, have mostly broken apart and the juices will have thickened slightly (see note 2).
- Transfer into a clean heat-proof bowl or large measuring jug. Allow to cool down for 10 minutes then use an immersion blender to blend the compote until no large chunks remain and the sauce is thick and mostly smooth. Alternatively, use a regular blender.
- Pour the blended sauce through a thin mesh sieve to remove any remaining chunks and seeds. If needed, repeat the process to get the sauce as smooth as you want (if you want to fully discard all seeds for example).
- Transfer into an airtight container or jar and keep refrigerated for up to a week - or freeze once cool.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to leave a comment and star rating below!
- I used a mix of Raspberry, Strawberries, Blueberries and Blackberries. The fruits I used come in a frozen mix, but you can absolutely make your own mix (from either fresh or frozen fruits) and use your favourites berries in addition such as cherries. The taste of your coulis can change a lot based on the type of berries you use: a larger amount of raspberries or blackberries will create a tangier sauce than one made with a lot of strawberries for example.
- If preferred, you can add one or two tablespoons of water to help the fruits to start cooking. The exact cooking time can vary based on the ripeness of the fruits, how small or big the berries are and if you are using fresh or frozen fruits.