Homemade gift idea: Berry sauce

Culinary Spelunker's picture

Over the holidays, my mom would often give away jars of homemade raspberry jam. Now I fully admit I didn’t inherit my mom’s gift for gardening or canning (I’m working on both though, mom, promise!). Thankfully, though, I did pay attention when she was giving me cooking lessons.

Homemade berry sauce recipe

So instead of raspberry jam, I came up with this berry sauce that you could pour into pretty glass jars (I’ve found cool ones at World Market) or tupperware and pass along to friends. You can even send along recipe ideas to go with the sauce. This week, I’ve topped yeasted waffles and brownies with this rich, tangy berry concoction and my kids have been raving: I couldn’t even see my 10 y-o’s waffle it was so covered in sauce!

Berry sauce Recipe

(Based on Mark Bittman’s Fruit Sauce Method 2 from How to Cook Everything)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: 3 cups

Homemade berry sauce recipe
Can't you see this sauce in a pretty glass bottle?


3 cups whole frozen strawberries (thawed or fresh)

2 cups frozen blueberries (thawed or fresh)

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

lemon or orange (optional)

balsamic or red vinegar (optional)


Place the water, sugar, and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture thickens and just barely become syrupy (about 4 minutes on my power burner).
Pour the berries into the hot mixture and simmer until the berries start to break apart.
Use a handheld immersion blender to liquify the berries. Alternatively, you can pour the sauce into a blender.
Adjust the seasonings: I like my sauce tart so I added 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon red raspberry vinegar. You might like adding orange zest or a bit of juice along with white balsamic (not regular) vinegar. Just make sure to add the juice and vinegar a little bit at a time, it’s just to add a hint of sourness and interest to the sauce.
Cool to room temperature before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

I highly recommend serving it with your Yule Log!

*Store the sauce in the refrigerator. Lasts a week or you can freeze extras!