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May 29, 2007 10:14 PM

Thickening raspberry (and blueberry) sauces?

I've gotten it into my head that corn starch is ruining my fruit sauces-- or at least preventing them from being all they can be. No matter how little I use, I can always taste a little tinniness in the end. I know, maybe it's just my imagination. But be that as it may, I tried another strategy tonight-- putting a little orange marmalade in a raspberry sauce, to let pectin do the thickening that the work corn starch was doing. It worked pretty well, but I kind of disliked the flavor influence (could taste the pithiness of the marmalade). Anybody ever used jams to thicken raspberry or blueberry sauces before? Any good flavor matches? What about just adding pectin? How much pectin to use, say, for a pound of raspberries?

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  1. some prefer arrowroot to cornstarch, it's a bit more subtle

    1 Reply
    1. re: coconutz

      Just be careful with the arrowroot. If you over cook it it magically looses it's thickening power.

    2. Pectin really thickens best when cold/room temp.

      Have you tried tapioca starch? I use that in fruit soup and can't detect any flavor to it.
      Don't know if you have any decent Chinatown near you, but that's where I found mine.

      Same routine as cornstarch, mix with cold water til in good suspension, mix in a little sauce, then mix it back into the sauce on low heat while stirring til thickened. Can't remember the proportions off the top of my head.

      The other suggestion would be to look at Joy of Cooking. It has a lot of reference material, look up cornstarch or tapioca flour and it will give you chapter & verse.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Louise

        Potato starch would do, too. Very easy blending and no flavor at all. Very strong thickening ability as well, maybe better than cornstarch.

      2. How about honey? I use it when thickening an orange sauce I make.

        1. I stick it in the microwave and just reduce. It takes more fruit, but the end result is lovely and the color is great. Got the technique from Birnbaum's "The Cake Bible" for her strawberry sauce.

          1. I often think cornstarch makes a fruit sauce a bit pasty and dilutes its flavor essence.
            Two options that I can recommend -- already stated -- are instant tapioca (my fave)
            and arrowroot (a bit harder to come by). More info found at