Reductions, homemade butters, hummus so good you’ll wanna drop it low and buss it open. Okay maybe I’m getting a bit carried away but isn’t a homemade berry sauce just so sexy?
There is nothing more simple to whip together and more yummy, than a reduction. My Berry Nice Reduction can be cooked up as a sauce to top ice cream, your favorite pastry or cake. Also, with the addition of cornstarch and some extra cooking time, it can be used as a simple fresh jam or preserve. If you receive WIC, consider using your fruit and veggie check to grab your favorite berries to whip up a batch. I’m excited to do a cherry or peach reduction. This recipe is sort of an approximation — my fav reduction consists of strawberries and blackberries together but raspberries have more tartness and you might want more sweetness. I’ve subbed turbinado (raw) sugar for honey, agave or fruit juice.
In a medium saucepan, add the berries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn fire down to low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the water is reduced and starts to become syrupy. About 10-15 minutes. Towards the end of that cooking time, add vanilla extract and stir. Spoon into your favorite mason jar and allow to cool. Can be kept in the fridge for about a week.
Jam alteration: Make a slurry by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to about 1/4 cup of tepid water. Stir until cloudy and dissolved. Add to pot while fruit is simmering about three-quarters of the way through. Simmer until it thickens. If too thick, add water – a tablespoon at a time until reaching desired consistency. Keep in mind that the reduction will thicken more as it cools, so if it feels a little thin, remember it will get thicker… don’t go crazy with the cornstarch. Allow to cool and spoon into your favorite mason jar. Can be kept in fridge for about a week.
Equipment: Medium sized saucepan
- 1 cup of whole fresh or frozen strawberries with the green pulled off ( I leave them whole because as they cook down they break up and I like my reduction chunky, if you want a smoother consistency then feel free to dice your strawberries up)
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries (remember you can sub these berries for pretty much any kind you desire)
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons sugar (98% of the time I use turbinado or demerara sugar because it’s less processed than white sugar, however please don’t let people tell you it’s healthier. It’s still sugar, it still should be monitored and it still has a negative impact on your overall health if consumed excessively. It is also more expensive than regular sugar. I want to use Sucanat but that shit is odee expensive and I cannot find it anyplace but online… when Amazon starts taking SNAP cards, then I’ll buy a 50 pound bag for 135 dollars!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (in a pinch I’ve used the Dominican style stuff from the bodega, aka corner store. Pure vanilla gives you a superior taste but don’t beat yourself up if you use other stuff. Despite what other foodies might tell you, it doesn’t make you an actual bad person – though baking with margarine does!)