Fresh, in-season ingredients are usually key for making a standout meal — but now and then, something from your freezer can steal the show. Frozen fruit might usually be reserved for foods of convenience rather than aesthetics -- like smoothies -- but when wielded properly it can add both beauty and flavor to almost any sweet dish.
Ten minutes and a bag of frozen fruit are virtually all you need to make a decadent fruit coulis to drizzle over pancakes, yogurt, cheesecake, or anything else that could benefit from a fruity flourish. This works particularly well with berries, but you could certainly test it out with whatever frozen fruit you may have on hand.
To turn frozen fruit into a fancy topping, all you have to do is heat the fruit in a saucepan with some sugar, and then throw it into a blender or food processor. It's an easy way to make your Sunday breakfasts or special occasion desserts a little more impressive — not to mention, the sweet, tart flavor is just plain delicious.
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Quickly Transform Frozen Fruit Into A Coulis
In a saucepan, mix about 2 cups of frozen fruit with 2 tablespoons of sugar. You may want to add more or less sugar based on your personal preference, so taste as you go. At this point, some cooks also add a dash of salt to really amplify the sweet, complex flavor of the fruit -- as salt is key in making desserts. Keep the saucepan over medium heat and mix so that the sugar dissolves and the fruit thaws out, but don't let it reach a boil. This should take about five minutes.
Once your fruit and sugar combo is thoroughly mixed and defrosted, transfer it from the saucepan to a blender or food processor. Purée it until you have a liquid that's more or less homogenous. Next, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any pulp. Using a spoon or spatula, really press any fruit chunks into the strainer to squeeze out as much liquid as you can extract. Mix about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into the strained purée, and you have a finished coulis.
The quantities of fruit, sugar, and lemon are flexible, which makes this a great recipe component when you don't have much fruit in the freezer. If you really like some zing, you might want to experiment with adding more lemon juice or even stirring in some lemon zest while the mixture is on the stove.
Coulis Or Compote, It's Up To You
Being as simple as it is, this recipe is almost infinitely customizable. Instead of a coulis, you can make frozen fruit into a compote by following the same process, but skipping the blending and straining. If you do this, you'll probably have the easiest time combining all ingredients in the saucepan rather than holding the lemon until the end. If you want to alter the consistency, add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up or water to thin it out.
As for ways to use your coulis or compote, you can use it to top basically any kind of sweet dish, from ice cream and cheesecake to parfait and panna cotta -- and even breakfast foods like waffles and french toast. If you want to test it out on savory foods, too, more power to you — you just might want to alter the recipe by using less sugar or tossing in a touch of wine for some complexity.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.