Is your fruit sauce just too runny? Does it just not have that thick consistency that makes it truly what it is. Then you need to thicken it. But how can you do so? Thankfully you have several different options. Here is what you can do.
So, how do you thicken fruit sauce? The fastest way to thicken a fruit sauce is to add a thickening agent, such as arrowroot, gelatin, or pectin. Reduction or blitzing in a food processor are other options to consider depending on the amount of time and what you have available.
There’s not only one way.
And better yet, you can choose an option that is going to work with any potential food preferences and dietary needs too.
So with this, all in mind, let us work through each option one by one so you know exactly what to do, and when.
Thickening Fruit Sauce With A Thickening Agent
Just as the name suggests, a thickening agent adds substance and thickness to a liquid.
One of the major benefits of these is that they do not drastically change the other properties, such as the flavor.
They are often used in sauces, soups, and puddings so they are absolutely an option for you and your fruit sauce.
The main thickening starches include cornstarch, root-based starches (such as arrowroot), potato starch, wheat flour, and tapioca starch.
One thing to consider here is that not all starches are preferable for all sauces, or contexts.
For instance, in acidic foods, arrowroot tends to work better than cornstarch (which loses its potency in acidic conditions).
Depending on what fruit is in your fruit sauce will largely dictate how different thickeners react, and what is best to use.
Nevertheless, as most fruit tends to be quite acidic, arrowroot is a good thickener to use.
Either way, it’s important to follow the instructions of whatever thickener you are using.
Although the process does generally remain the same:
- Create a slurry from the thickening starch, with equal parts water
- Stir the slurry into the fruit sauce while it’s simmering
- Simmer for a few minutes until the thickness reaches the right consistency.
Always add slowly, you can always add more but you cannot take away.
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient.
it actually derives from animals so if you are a vegetarian or vegan, this may not be suitable for you.
Either way, gelatin is mostly used in sweets because it foams, gels, or solidifies together (although it does melt down again when in the mouth).
In the context of working with gelatin, the principles remain although you do not need to create a slurry.
You just need to add a small amount of gelatin slowly to your fruit sauce and stir continuously until you reach the consistency you desire.
The packaging of any gelatin product you decide to use should walk you through the process.
Pectin is a unique fiber that is naturally found in fruits and vegetables.
And you can simply add more of this to add the thickness you desire.
It’s available in powder form, and all you need to do is add about 1/8 teaspoon per cup of liquid.
You need to boil it for around 30 seconds to activate it.
If you do decide to use pectin, use it sparingly. Too much and your fruit sauce will set!
To do so, add about 1/8 teaspoon of powdered pectin.
Xanthum gum is another thickening agent to consider using, and you need to work with similar proportions that you would with pectin.
So, about 1/8 teaspoon per cup of liquid is recommended again.
When working with Xanthum Gum, it’s best to use a blender – otherwise, it can clump quickly together.
So, you should blend it with your fruit sauce as you incorporate them together.
Thickening Fruit Sauce Through Reduction
Again the clue is in the title.
Reduction is essentially the process of reducing the water content, and you can do this very easily, although it does take time.
All you need to do is simmer your sauce over low-medium heat, with any pan lid off.
Be sure to stir the sauce regularly to prevent it from sticking too, or burning to the bottom of the pan.
In time, the water will naturally boil off and your fruit sauce should thicken on standing.
Thickening Fruit Sauce With A Food Processor
Lastly, you can always use a food processor or blender to thicken your fruit sauce.
For this method, it is generally advised to add more of the base ingredient, or fruit of your sauce.
Then, transfer it all over to a food process/blender and blitz.
This should pull the sauce together again and the added ingredients should provide additional consistency.
Fruit sauce can be thickened relatively easily and quickly.
Particularly if you decide to use a thickening agent.
Arrowstarch, gelatin, or pectin would be my recommendations.
Although, you could absolutely try another starch-based thickening agent too.
Depending on the acidity of your sauce, cornstarch may be an option.
Other than this if you don’t have anything to hand but a bit of time, reduction really is the way to go.
Just stand over it.
You don’t want to reduce too far, or worse – burn your sauce!
Want to learn how to thicken other sweet sauces? Then go ahead and check out my other related guides:
Hello. I’m Jeremy – an experienced saucier who has worked in some of the top kitchens over the last few decades. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my knowledge and expertise; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to recommendations for every sauce imaginable.