apricot coulis and the reopening of the mythic Le Drugstore

Staring at a dozen ripe apricots this hot Sunday afternoon, I wondered what I could do with them (other than eating them, one by one, throughout the week.) An apple-apricot crumble sounded good, but it’s too hot to use the oven. So why not a coulis? Ridiculously easy to make, a coulis is a thin (or thick) puréed sauce. The word comes from the French verb, couler, which means to flow, trickle or run.

raspberry coulis

Using summer fruits is the best: raspberries, strawberries or peaches, for example, served atop a chilled panna cotta, cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, or just a bowl of quality natural or vanilla yogurt. Out of season, you can use frozen berries. The advantage of making your own coulis, or any recipe for that matter, is that you control the amount of sugar that goes into it. And the consistency.

cheesecake

courtesy of whatjessicabakednext.com

I just looked up raspberry coulis on the Martha Stewart website. Way too much sugar!

3/4 cup sugar

18 ounces (1 1/2 pints) of fresh raspberries

I’d reduce that sugar to 1/3 of a cup, you can add more to taste later. And I wouldn’t let it boil for longer than half a minute because summer fruit is delicate.

Martha says – Combine sugar, berries, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low; cook until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place mixture in the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh colander, and discard solids. 

I can’t be bothered to pass anything through a sieve, even though it’s a good idea because of the seeds. And I certainly wouldn’t discard the solids. A few drops of lemon juice and pure vanilla extract is good. Or vanilla sugar. The most important thing, though, is the quantity of water. Too much and your coulis is just a diluted, too-thin, insipid soup. So reserve some of the water from the saucepan, start blending with a small amount of water and add more, if necessary, as you whizz. Don’t forget that it thickens a little when you put it in the fridge. If it’s hopelessly thin, throw in a gelatin leaf.

This is a no-bake cheesecake. I like that the raspberries are kind of chunky. Obviously, very little water was used here.

fab coulis

Here are my apricots and coulis. I spooned some onto a bowl of natural yogurt, then later onto a plate of (home-made) crêpes sprinkled with lemon juice and granulated sugar.

IMG_7856IMG_7858

During the week, I’ll put up a post about the re-opening of the famous Le Drugstore on the Champs-Elysées. 

bon appétit et très bonne semaine !

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