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Exotic Wild Berry Sauce Recipe

Updated on April 21, 2017
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Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook's Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.

Berry Sauce with Panna Cotta and Fresh Blueberries
Berry Sauce with Panna Cotta and Fresh Blueberries | Source

Berry Sauce or Berry Coulis

One suffocating July weekend, my parents took us on an outing. My father drove his ancient pickup truck down a winding gravel path that took us far from the comfort of the suburbs. We followed a bubbling brook for several miles when suddenly elderberry bushes burst into view, laden with shiny, purple-black fruit. Hours later we returned home weary, berry-stained and loaded down with boxes full of elderberry stems, leaves and fruit.

After carefully removing berries from stems, grandfather and mother went to work in the kitchen. That summer we ate the berries every way imaginable: elderberry jelly, elderberry cobbler, elderberry sauce. My grandmother's elderberry cordial was unforgettable. I only know this because of my frequent covert missions to the pantry, where I sipped the fruity syrup straight from the bottle.

Little did I know that the syrup was an old-time remedy for everything under the sun including the common cold and flu. Family lore has it that the sweet syrup even cured my brother's asthma.

This sauce is my tribute to the memory of my grandfather and his wild berry creations. It can be elaborated with any wild berry, including huckleberry or mulberry, or you can use commercially cultivated berries such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. This sauce is a wonderful partner for seared elk tenderloins and is unforgettable drizzled over panna cotta, plain yogurt, vanilla ice cream, pancakes or cheesecake. Mix it with cream cheese and smear onto bagels and english muffins, or stir a tablespoon of sauce into tangy limeade. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

  • Wild Berries and A Healthy Diet
  • Berry Picking Precautions
  • Exotic Wild Berry Sauce Recipe
  • What are Elderberries?
  • Elderberry Products on Amazon
  • What are Huckleberries?
  • Berry Poll


Wild Berries and A Healthy Diet

"Eat five to eight helpings of fruit and vegetables a day, but include berries three to four times a week," says Dr. Gary Stoner, Director of the Laboratory of Cancer Chemo Prevention and Etiology at Ohio State University.

Berries contain an abundance of phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, one of the most important of the phytochemicals. While it's true that berries are 90 percent water, the powerfully colorful juice that is capable of staining both clothing and hands is chock full of antioxidants and disease-fighting chemicals. The darker colored the berry, the higher the level of anthocyanins.

Best of all, wild berries are often free! Just make sure to correctly identify the berry and confirm it is safe for human consumption. Elderberry syrup is a well-known folk remedy which boosts the immune system and fights the common cold and flu. Anti-bacterial and anti-viral, it's safe even for children. Why not try some today?

Berry Picking Precautions:

  • Be sure to correctly identify edible berries before picking.
  • Only pick fully ripened berries.
  • Raw or unripe elderberries are toxic, as are elderberry stems and leaves.
  • Remove elderberries from stems by raking them off with a fork.

5 stars from 6 ratings of Berry Sauce Recipe

Exotic Wild Berry Sauce Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 1 - 1/2 cups of berry sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elderberries, huckleberries or mulberries, or try blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or combination
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pour berries, sugar, lemon juice and salt into a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer until berries begin to burst.
  3. Using a hand masher or immersion blender, break up the berries. If using wild berries, be careful not to crush the bitter seeds.
  4. If using wild berries, we recommend straining the sauce since wild berries are often full of bitter seeds. Discard solids and return strained sauce to the saucepan.
  5. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Cool and refrigerate in a glass jar or other storage container. Sauce will keep for several weeks.
Elderberries
Elderberries | Source

What are Elderberries?

Elderberry can refer to any of 30 shrubs in the Adoxaceae family although sambucus nigra, commonly seen in Europe and North America, is the most well-known of the species. Berries range in color from black to dark purple to bright red.

Elderberries and elderflowers have been used in folk remedies for centuries as a cure for the common cold and flu, including influenzas such as Avian and H1N1. Elderberries are said to lower harmful cholesterol, improve vision, boost immune system and offer antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.


Huckleberries
Huckleberries | Source

What are Huckleberries?

Huckleberry may refer to any variety of fruit-bearing shrub in the Ericaceae family. The fruit is small and round, similar in appearance to a blueberry, and ranges in color from scarlet red to deep purple. Also called bilberry, the fruit is generally seedy, sweet and delicious in jams, pies, cobblers and other baked goods.

In North America, huckleberries were a traditional part of the Crow tribe's diet. Since the plants prefer acidic soil, grow slowly and the berries must be handpicked, they are not produced commercially. They do flourish in the wild, though, so why not pick and basketful of huckleberries and whip up your own wild berry sauce?

Berries ripen in mid to late summer but be aware they are also a favorite of brown, black and grizzly bears. Avoid picking berries in the early morning or early evening hours, when bears are busy foraging and fattening up for a long stint of hibernation.

Have you ever picked wild berries?

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Comments

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  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    VVanNess, it sounds like you have a nice repertoire of recipes yourself!

  • VVanNess profile image

    Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

    Yum! This is kinda like the process I use to make my fresh fruit pies. Very nice!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    chef-de-jour, your wild berry jam sounds irresistible. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment.

  • chef-de-jour profile image

    Andrew Spacey 3 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    A delicious hub! Such colour and intense flavour in the wild berries with the added bonus of health giving properties. Perfect.

    We're just at the end of our berry season, the last 'berry' being rosehips which survive the first frosts. I've made a wild berry jam - really good. Thanks for this recipe.

    Votes and a share.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Denise Handlon, thank you for your elegant and simple dessert idea. I hope to try it next time I have lady fingers in the house. Have a great week.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Joy M, thanks for the comment and vote!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Denise Handlon, I really appreciate your feedback! I just wish it was berry season in Peru. : ) Enjoy the berry sauce.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Wow! What a tasty sauce and the whole family enjoyed it. I split the ladyfingers open, filled it with a teaspoon of cool whip, and ladled the sauce over it. Delicious and easy!

  • Joy M profile image

    Joy M 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington

    Great hub! Voted up and useful.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Just tried it tonight, Vespa-delish! Still UP & awesome

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Careermommy, I'm also a big fan of berries. Hope you can try this delicious and easy sauce. Thanks for your comment!

  • Careermommy profile image

    Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, this berry recipe looks awesome! I love all things Berry, and especially all the ones featured in this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Kathryn Stratford, I'm glad you enjoyed my childhood memory of berry picking. The recipe is easy, delicious and very versatile! I hope you can try it sometime. Thanks for your comment and I hope you have a nice weekend, too!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    This is charming, starting out with a story about going berry picking, and providing information about these fruits. The recipe itself looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing this with us, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    ~ Kathryn

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    rebeccamealey, this berry sauce is delicious with so many foods. What I wouldn't do for a pot full of berries right now! Enjoy and thanks for the votes and share. Have a nice weekend.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Hot diggity. Just in time for black berry and blueberry season. This sounds so good and so easy! Thanks. Shared! And all votes up!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    DeniseHandlon, delicate lady fingers and berry sauce sounds like just the thing! Enjoy and I appreciate the votes and share. Have a great weekend, too!

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Today I'm going to try this recipe with blueberries, and any other berry I may find in my refrigerator. I have some delicate lady fingers that I've been wondering what to do with and this may be my solution. Thanks, Vespa. Enjoy your weekend. :) UP/U/I/sharing

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Deborah-Diane, wild blueberry pancakes sound so delicious right now! That's the only way to eat pancakes in my opinion. Thanks for all your support.

  • Deborah-Diane profile image

    Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

    Years ago, we would pick wild blueberries to make blueberry pancakes. This recipe sounds fabulous!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    alocsin, I'm glad your partner enjoys berries. This sauce is so delicious that even a non-berry lover might enjoy it, especially when it's drizzled over something yummy like a panna cotta. Enjoy and thanks for the votes and all your support.

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

    I'm not much of a berry person but my partner loves them, so he'd enjoy making this recipe. And since the dish will already be made, I might as well have a taste ;) Voting this Up and Useful.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Vickiw, the Greek yogurt and blackberry coulis has my mouth watering! I appreciate the opportunity to support one another, as well, and look forward to many more of your lovely Hubs. : )

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    Vickiw 4 years ago

    Hi Vespa, so kind of you to link to my blackberry Hub! Many thanks! Your Hub is really a lovely walk down memory lane, and as usual at the end of it a very nice recipe. I love the way we have opportunities to support each other. Just had a nice dish of Greek yoghurt with some lovely Blackberry coulis. yum!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    DDE, berries are full of antioxidants and nutrients. Enjoy and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Sounds a lovely treat with berries, and is a healthy option

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Prasetio, I'm glad you like the recipe. I love that this sauce can be used so many ways: on pancakes, to sweeten drinks or over desserts like panna cotta. I hope you and your mom enjoy it. Thanks for the vote and comment!

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Wow....I love the recipe here. Just looking at the picture makes me want to try it. As usual, I'll show this hub to my mom. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up and YUMMY!

    Prasetio

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Om Paramapoonya, I'm glad you learned so much about berries today. They're one of my favorite categories of fruit and offer so many health benefits to boot. I really appreciate all your support!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    Wow, I've learned so much about wild berries today! I love blueberries and blackberries, but haven't yet tried the other types of berries you mentioned. Thanks a lot for sharing this interesting information and tips. It was a fun read :)

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    JackieLynnley, I envy your homegrown blueberries! You'll have an abundance to try this sauce. Enjoy and thanks for all your support.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Pretynutjob, you're so right about the berries. They're full of antioxidants and nutrients so they're a guilt-free snack. Thanks so much for the comment, votes and share!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    TammySwallow, we love the wild berry sauce on waffles with some fresh berries. Enjoy!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I am growing my own blueberries now so i will certainly tuck this away for summer. Thank you! ^

  • prettynutjob30 profile image

    Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

    I love berries, they are not only delicious but super healthy as well, I will definitely have to try this recipe. Your recipes always make my mouth water, voted up, awesome and shared.

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

    I love berries of all kinds. I'm going to try to make this for waffles. Excellent!!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    UnknownSpy, thanks for all your support!

  • unknown spy profile image

    IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

    i love this recipe! berrylicious!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    ktrapp, I'm glad you enjoyed my childhood memory of my grandfather. He ran a restaurant in his youth and was a wonderful cook. His home always smelled of fresh baked bread, pies or cinnamon rolls. His berry creations were my favorite, though. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • ktrapp profile image

    Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

    I love when a recipe has a wonderful family story and memories to go with it. This is such a delicious tribute to your grandfather. I have to say, you have the most wonderful collection of dessert recipes made with fruit as an ingredient. Blueberries are another one of my favorites, perhaps one day I will get to try this wild berry sauce recipe.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Donnah, berries in abundance is my dream--how nice your sister has tons of berry bushes. I'd be paying her frequent visits if I were you! : ) Thank you for your support.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    PeggyW, how nice you were able to pick blackberries in Oregon where they grow in abundance! Yes, frozen or fresh berries from the grocery store will also work well. Thanks!

  • donnah75 profile image

    Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

    There is nothing like berry picking in the summer. My sister has tons of berry bushes on her property. Mostly raspberries and wild blueberries. It is always a surety that there will berry something to eat at her house. Yum! Great hub.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    The only wild berries I picked were blackberries up in Oregon. They seem to grow wild there everywhere! We ate our fill of them. Gave this 5 stars and up votes and will also share. Loved hearing about your family memories along with your recipe. Nice to know that we can use store purchased berries as well since I do not know of a wild berry patch around here.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Mhatter, I appreciate the support.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for this recipe.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    ExpectGreatThings, I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub. I'm sure you'll find eldeberries in a rural area nearby. Enjoy! I especially appreciate both their culinary and medicinal value. Thanks for coming by.

  • ExpectGreatThings profile image

    ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

    I hate to admit this, but I had to google "elderberries". They should definitely grow up here, so I will have to keep my eyes open for them. Thanks for the tip!

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    SuzieHQ, glad to hear you'll be doing your own foraging for berries once spring arrives. It's so rewarding and then you enjoy all the delicious foods you can make with them even more. As always, thank you for all your support, votes, etc. etc.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lemonkerdz, I was also shocked to find the berries.They've begun to cultivate and market them in the Lima area. We get blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries and even elderberries at times. Who would've thought it would be possible??

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    ExpectGreatThings, you may have to settle for frozen berries in the meantime. You should be able to find elderberries in rural areas of Illinois in the summer. Have you ever seen them?

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Erickierker, I'm glad you enjoyed the information. Berries are so full of nutrients and antioxidants. They belong in a healthy diet.

  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    cre8ivOne, I'm always happy to meet a fellow berry lover! This sauce is so delicious, versatile and healthy. Thank you for coming by!

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi vespa,

    Love that you did the sauce too to go with your delicious looking panna cotta recipe! What a lovely intro stepping down memory lane with your grandfather. I love hearing these family treasures, always full of the best recipes, ingredients and traditions. I have never made a sauce like this i have to admit but love the simplicity so will keeping my eyes peeled come spring and summer. Now I am in the countryside I will be foraging further!!

    Great info, recipe and ideas as always!

    Vu, Useful, Interesting, shared and pinned!!

  • lemonkerdz profile image

    lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

    Thanks for another great recipe Vespawoolf and for linking to my vainilla recipe, Where did you get theose berries in peru? They look delicious to make a sauce from. Making your own sauce is a real pleasure especially eating it :-)

    Voted up

  • ExpectGreatThings profile image

    ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

    Yum! I can't wait to try this. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we have any pick-able berries in Illinois :(

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Excellent. Very important stuff to know, for me.

  • cre8ivOne profile image

    cre8ivOne 4 years ago from Midwest, USA

    LOVE berries so much! Especially blackberries. I will be trying this recipe when I have berries on hand!