View Full Version : sauce reduction/storage question

06-01-2013, 10:00 PM

Please forgive me if this is a stupid question but im going ask anyway.

I love to make saucees by reducing a balsamic vinegar with some fruit then smoothing it out in a vitamix, ie ill take 2 parts water, 1 part balsamic with cranberries a few seasonings then simmer until i get a 70% or so reduction to nice thickness then blend. I love this on fish etc, my problem is that once it gets cold it solidifies. Id love to be able to keep it in a squeze bottle for use over several days in a similar manner to day ketchup.

Is there a technique to hepp it in a liquid form ?

Any advise on what im doing is gratefully appreciated, im not a big recipe guy i tend to just make stuff up !!


06-01-2013, 10:08 PM
Dont reduce it so much.It does tend to thicken as it chills,to test your consistency put a teaspoon on a plate and pop it in the fridge until cold.If it is too thick add a little boiling water-too thin reduce a little more.Alternatively warm the squeezy bottle in a pot of warm water before use.You could also experiment with thickening the sauce with a gel such as Xanthan gum or similar.

sachem allison
06-01-2013, 11:13 PM
yeah, what he said. If you are using fruit such as berries they tend to be high in pectin which is going to be a natural thickening agent. It is what makes jams and jellies set.

Line cooked
06-01-2013, 11:42 PM
I was thinking can Xanthan gum too

NO ChoP!
06-01-2013, 11:43 PM
May I ask why your adding water?

You can check the glace of a sauce by dipping a spoon in. Run your finger through the coating sauce; if the sauce drips past the finger mark, reduce more; if it stays separated, it's good to go. Will set beautifully when brought to room temp.

And it's a vinegar based reduction; should be OK held at room temp...

06-01-2013, 11:45 PM
Just warm it up prior to plating the and leave it room temperature.

Chef Niloc
06-02-2013, 12:05 AM
I was thinking can Xanthan gum too

I'd use agar agar instead. Once agar jells if you blend it it won't solidify again but rather keep a syrup like consistency that gets thiner when warm, gets smother the minute it hits your mouth.

06-02-2013, 04:37 AM
Agar it's great but does have a bit of algae umami flavor to it, which might not be bad with seafood. But once it sets and then is agitated vigorously in blender it does make for a nice fluid sauce with good texture. I'm also confused as to why you're adding water only to reduce "it out". One could argue to hydrate the dried fruit (cranberries) but in that case just use cranberry juice. Also, they'll hydrate (rehydrate) just fine in balsamic alone. And I also believe you're reducing it too far, as it tends thicken once you chill it. If you're getting the perfect viscosity right after its pureed, then just cut back on reduction time.

If I might suggest,86 the water, add more vinegar and/or good cranberry juice, simmer just until fruit softens, puree then chill. Once sauce has set, sheer in some xamthan gum and blend to desired thickness. You can add xam. to the puree while it's hot, but this won't allow you to take in the natural thickening of the chilled vinegar, or a fruit's natural pectin.

I'm bigger fan of the natural acidic flavor of a good balsamic rather than the sweeter reduced stuff, so at work we take straight balsamic from the bottle and thicken it with the xan. I like using xanthan gum over others because of the micro bubbles it creates and holds. Just remember, out doesn't take a lot- a little can go a long way!

Salty dog
06-02-2013, 10:10 AM
Just warm it up prior to plating the and leave it room temperature.

That's what I do. I like the consistency and it doesn't run. But I use a demitasse spoon to drizzle.

NO ChoP!
06-02-2013, 10:43 AM
I'm anti chemical.

Maybe try subbing OJ for the water. Orange plays beautifully with cranberry, and the added natural sugar will also help to thicken quicker.

Brad Gibson
06-02-2013, 01:38 PM
Xanthan is foul.

06-02-2013, 01:48 PM
I'm anti chemical.

everything in the world is chemicals.

06-09-2013, 12:04 AM
Xanthan is foul.

What he said. Agar foul as well. The world didn't need these "new fangled" techniques to make and use reductions until a few years ago, why need them now.

Just store vinegar reductions room temp and you'll be fine

06-09-2013, 03:58 PM
I don't use hydrocolloids to simulate a reduction, that's stupid. The point of a reduction is to evaporate water to intensify flavor. I do however use them to stabilize or enhance products. Beet puree for example. I use ultratex 8 and xanthan gum to prevent seepage or bleeding on the plate. I can make beautiful vibrant spinach purees in this manner as well. You simply can not match the velvety luscious texture otherwise either. Traditional techniques just can not produce the same results. Roux and slurry both change the color and flavor of the final product.

Carrot juice is another great example. Try and reduce carrot juice then whisk in butter like a "carrot beurre blanc", can't happen. The carrot juice separates into a watery and fibrous mess and loses all of its beautiful color. Take that same carrot juice, multiply the volume by .0015 and sheer in that much xanthan. It's a miniscule amount. It will stabilize the juice to a demi glace consistency. Now you can heat the juice and whisk in a little butter, honey, ginger juice and season, then strain. What you have now is a vibrantly colored intensely flavored carrot sauce that works great with a spring chicken or fish entree. As a side note, because you only use a little butter instead of the traditional beurre blanc method you do two things, cut cost and make it healthier.

Speaking of healthier, I can use xanthan gum to make entirely fat free vinaigrettes like raspberry or watermelon etc.

They allow you to do things that simply aren't possible using classic methods. Used properly you can create new and exciting things or improve existing ideas. I feel hydrocolloids do have a place in todays kitchen. Fact is we've been eating them for decades now anyway and just didn't realize what "modified food starch, xanthan gum, agar agar, citric acid, gum arabic" etc were. Go ahead, look in your fridge. I promise you will see these things on ingredient lists from now on.

Do we need them? No, but we don't NEED butter or saffron or or any other ingredient you can think of. It's just another tool in my bag so to say.

06-09-2013, 07:38 PM
Thanks for this! Great info, even for us lowly kitchen cooks!