What Is Raspberry Coulis?

Allison Boelcke

A coulis is a thin sauce that is generally made by cooking vegetables or fruits, and then blending them until smooth. The mixture is usually strained in order to have a smooth consistency. Although the sauce may be made with a variety of vegetables or fruits, one of the most common variations is a raspberry coulis. This version of the sauce may be used for savory dishes, such as poultry, but it tends to mainly be served as a condiment for desserts.

Granulated sugar, which is used to make raspberry coulis.
Granulated sugar, which is used to make raspberry coulis.

The base of raspberry coulis generally consists mainly of fresh or frozen raspberries. If frozen raspberries are being used, it is typically not required to thaw them before using since their texture or appearance will not matter in the final dish due to the blending process. To counterbalance the tartness of the raspberries, as well as to form a syrupy base, granulated sugar is usually the other main ingredient in the sauce. Other recipes may call for lemon juice to add a fresh, acidic undertone to the taste of the coulis.

Frozen raspberries can be used to make raspberry coulis.
Frozen raspberries can be used to make raspberry coulis.

Raspberry coulis is traditionally prepared by heating raspberries and granulated sugar on the stovetop until the mixture comes to a boil, while some versions of the coulis may skip the cooking section and simply call for combining the items cold. If the traditional cooking is being performed, the raspberry and sugar may be simmered over a low heat after the initial boiling until it reaches the preferred consistency. The longer the mixture simmers, the thicker and more syrupy it becomes.

Although the thickness may vary for a raspberry coulis, most recipes tend to call for a smooth texture. Since raspberries contain seeds and skins, the sauce may have chunks in it immediately after cooking or mixing together. It is generally recommended to strain the mixture so that only liquid remains, and then discard the seeds and skins. I changed it a little to: To get an even smoother consistency, coulis recipes generally call for pureeing the mixture in a food processor or blender until it has a uniform texture.

Raspberry coulis may be served in a variety of ways. It is often a topping for ice cream or cold mousse dishes. The sauce is thought to pair well with cake, such as mild flavored pound cake or rich cheesecake. To prevent sogginess to cake dishes, the coulis may be served on the side to allow the diner to add it right before consuming. Poached fruit, a dish in which fruit, such as apples or pears, is simmered in hot liquid until softened, also tends to be traditionally topped with raspberry coulis.

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