Spend a little time in the kitchen whipping up this Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping and you’re set for topping or enhancing your favorite recipes. Whether you decide to spoon it onto your cheesecake, or stir it into your cocktails; this topping is a game-changer. The blueberry juice-based sauce is spiced with coins of fresh ginger and sweetened with sugar. Serve it warm or chilled, it’s up to you.
Why Do You Need This Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping?
Well, do you like dessert? What about cocktails? If you answered yes to either question, they are the reasons why you need to keep this blueberry ginger topping in the fridge. A spoonful (or two) of this on your angel food cake or on a scoop of ice cream and you’ve made a boring dessert fancy.
But, don’t stop at dessert. Your oatmeal may need a pick-me-up from time to time. Because this topping is not overly sweet, it suits warm cereals well. Again, cocktails muddled with this blueberry ginger topping, then shaken, will create a new flavor profile.
In short, I find that having it on hand makes things more exciting. It is a topping that is easily made, with minimum ingredients, which is why we should make it together.
What’s in This Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping
Blueberries, ginger, a pinch of salt, sugar, fresh lemon juice, water, and cornstarch- to create a jam-like consistency. In this recipe, blackberries are the only other fruit I would use in place of the blueberries. You can totally use other fruits, just make sure they compliment the ginger.
Let’s get to cooking!
Fresh Blueberries and Ginger Make a World of Difference
Because it is a prominent flavor in this recipe, you need to use fresh ginger to make the topping. Powdered ginger- while fine in many applications- tastes muted in this sauce. The bright, fresh ginger adds elements of spice and warmth to this topping, which even frozen ginger can’t replicate.
In a saucepan, combine the fresh blueberries, sliced ginger (don’t even worry about peeling it, just rinse it well), granulated sugar, and the salt. The amount of sugar you’ll ultimately use is dependant on how sweet your berries are. I tend to be conservative when sweetening this topping because I know I’ll most likely put it on something even sweeter. However, if you have a wicked sweet-tooth, add a little more sugar to the pot.
Bring the Blueberry Ginger Mixture to a Boil
Stir the lemon juice into the ingredients in the pot and bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
Because the blueberries contain a natural gelling agent called pectin, we need to encourage its release by bursting the berries with a rubber spatula. Without getting too deep into a chemistry lesson, pectin’s galacturonic acid is what’s responsible for the thickening of many jams, jellies, and sauces. Since we want this topping to be slightly thick, we’re going to take advantage of those properties. Squishing the berries with a spatula while they cook releases that pectin into the liquid.
So, once the blueberry ginger combination begins to simmer, carefully begin pressing them with the spatula. Be mindful now of the blueberries squishing juice. It’s bound to happen. You want to squish 3/4 of the blueberries in the pot.
Continue cooking the liquid until the mixture thickens slightly, or about 5-6 minutes.
Squish out the Blueberries’ Life Juice
After the blueberry ginger liquid has thickened a bit, strain the juice from the pulp.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid. Use the same rubber spatula from earlier to press the excess juice from the berry carcasses. You can then discard the berries or use them in a cocktail (just remember to remove the ginger coins).
Return the extracted liquid to your pot and bring it up to a simmer once again.
Thicken with a Slurry
We are very grateful for all the pectin has done for our blueberry ginger topping so far. However, it doesn’t have nearly enough thickening power to give us the consistency we need. In order to create our sauce’s perfect viscosity, we’re going to need a slurry of cornstarch.
In a small prep bowl mix the cornstarch and cold water together until it flows smoothly. Cold water must be used because hot water will cook and thicken the cornstarch, which makes it unusable in our sauce. Because cornstarch thickens as it heats, we want to wait until we add it to the hot liquid to let it do its thing.
Since it will thicken as it’s added to the hot liquid, we also need to be mindful of how we add it to our simmering blueberry juice.
Dumping it all in will result in a bunch of clumps in the sauce. Because the only lumps we want in this sauce are blueberries, we need to stir in the slurry gradually. Pour in a slow, steady stream of slurry while you stir the simmering liquid constantly. Now is not the time to slack off on the stirring, my friend. Because, again, clumps? No one wants to take a bite out of one.
Check for the Proper Consistency
After about 2 minutes of simmering, check the blueberry ginger sauce for the proper consistency. Use your finger to create a line down the middle of your spatula. If the edges of the line hold, you’re ready to proceed. A runny sauce means you need more slurry. Whip up a small batch (1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of cold water) and repeat the drizzling/stirring in step.
The sauce needs to be the proper thickness before we add the other blueberries to it. Since there’s more liquid in them it will dilute the sauce and, in turn, the thickness we’ve built up. So, make sure the proper thickness is established before adding more blueberries to the pot. Here’s my advice: you can always thicken up the sauce before moving on. You can also thin it with more water if need be. But, once the blueberries have been added, achieving a non-lumpy sauce is harder to do. Take your time here.
Add the Raw Blueberries
While we could very well serve the sauce as is, the wow factor comes from the texture you create by folding in whole berries.
Turn the heat off and stir in the rest of the blueberries. No need to cook these berries, they’re good with the residual heat from the sauce. As the mixture cools, the sauce will become the consistency of ketchup- albeit a smidge looser. Allow the blueberry ginger dessert topping to cool or use it straightaway.
Top Anything and Everything with This Blueberry Ginger Wonder
You can top anything you want with this dessert sauce. Might I shock the soul of out you? Top grilled pork chops with this sauce. Yes. I said that. The contrast of sweet and savory will blow your blessed mind.
Ice cream is a safe bet if you’re starting out on the dessert topping journey, though.
How to Store Your Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping
I keep my blueberry ginger topping in cute jars because all things in life should be kept in cute packages. They also make gifting a breeze.
The dessert contains sugar and fruit. Left to their own devices at room temperature, these two like to ferment and turn into something wicked. Leave the topping in the fridge for up to a week instead.
What better way to use this blueberry ginger dessert topping than on a slice of Classic Cheesecake?
There is no better way, you are correct.
So, pin this recipe. Make this recipe. Heap spoonfuls of this recipe into your mouth. Sigh. Then, thank me later.
Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping
A quick-to-assemble multi-use fruit topping.
- 1 1/2 cups (375ml) cold water separated
- 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
- 1 1/2 pound (750g) blueberries separated
- 3 inch piece fresh ginger root sliced (no need to peel)
- pinch kosher salt
- 3/4 cups (150g) granulated sugar plus more to taste*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the water with the cornstarch. Stir until the mixture is runny.
Set the bowl aside.
In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of blueberries, the ginger, granulated sugar, and the salt.
Stir the lemon juice and the remaining water into the ingredients in the pot and bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
Once the blueberry ginger combination begins to simmer, begin to carefully press them with the spatula to extract the pectin from the berries. This helps the mixture thicken a bit.
Continue cooking- stirring frequently- until the mixture thickens slightly, or for about 5-6 minutes.
After the blueberry ginger liquid has thickened a bit and resembles a loose syrup, strain the juice from the pulp by pouring it through a fine-mesh strainer that's been placed over a bowl.
Use the rubber spatula to press the excess juice from the berries. Discard the berry skins or stir them in a cocktail or lemonade (after removing the ginger coins).
Return the extracted blueberry juice to the pot and bring it up to a simmer once again.
Pour the cornstarch mixture into the simmering liquid in a slow, steady stream while stirring constantly. After the cornstarch slurry has been added, allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer while stirring.
After 1- 2 minutes of simmering, the sauce should be thick. Check that it is the proper consistency: use your finger to create a line down the middle of your spatula. If the edges of the line hold, you're ready to proceed.
A runny sauce will need more slurry. Stir together a small batch: 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of cold water, and repeat the drizzling/stirring in step.
If the sauce it so thick it looks more like a pudding, add more water (a tablespoon at a time) to thin it it out.
If the sauce has developed lumps, strain it to remove the lumps before proceeding.
Remove the pot from the heat stir in the remaining blueberries. As the mixture cools, the residual heat will slightly cook the whole blueberries.
Allow the Blueberry Ginger Dessert Topping to cool or use it straightaway.
Store the topping in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge for one week.
*The amount of sugar you'll use is dependant on how sweet your berries are. Taste a few to determine if they'll need a 1/4 cup more or less sugar than called for.
Try My Other Dessert Sauces: