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What is the best way to thicken a juice based sauce?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
What is the best way to thicken a juice based sauce?

I have it thicker than plane juice, but I want it thicker, like a thick syrup.

How can I do that?

TIA!

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post #2 of 17
A couple of questions:

a) What exactly is in the sauce?

b) What's the sauce for?

I personally tend to go for reduction sauces far more than starch thickened sauces these days, but there are some instances where reducing sauces will give it an unappealing flavour and/or colour. Also, there are some instances where thickening with starch is preferable over reduction.

However, another alternative is to add some gelatin (1 tsp per 2 cups of liquid) into your mixture and reduce as normal, the gelatin "should" give it a quality that allows it to be reduced similar to a stock-based sauce.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 17
Depends on the end use. I either make a reduction, as Bluicus discuses, or use arrowroot as a starch thickener because it results in a clearer sauce than, say, cornstarch.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, I think a starch will throw the color off. I think the gelatin will work though, does the sauce need to be hot when I add the gelatin?
post #5 of 17
I'd bloom it in cold water first then melt the gelatin in the heated liquid. To be perfectly honest I've never tried doing this before... hopefully it works for you.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 17
How do you juice a plane?

shel
post #7 of 17
With a 2-dimensional juicer.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #8 of 17
Maybe you just use that blue juice I always see.

thats a nice color for a sauce.
post #9 of 17
Xanthan gum works, if you have access to it.
post #10 of 17
I bought a whole extra-large aspirin-sized container of Xanthan Gum and I've never cracked it open. Guess I should try it out.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #11 of 17
Xanthan gum is indeed used in instant or cook up sauces (in the industry)

It thickens while hot (gelatin stays liquidy when hot and sets only when cold)

Luc H.
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #12 of 17
reduce the sauce, then add a little cornstarch, but do not* over do it with constarch, I don't think any sauce should be so thick that you can use a fork...you dont want to have corn starch plus juices :-) for a sauce

I learned this through my own mistakes
post #13 of 17
I think they mean PLAIN juice, but I think you already know that you naughty imp you!:roll:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Do you want good grammer or good food?
post #15 of 17
How about both?:smiles:

shel
post #16 of 17
If you want a starch thickener to stay clear and shiny id use arrowroot which doesnt cloud like cornflour, or else reduce and whisk in loads of cold butter peices which will thicken and glaze
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #17 of 17
The assumption that I'm working on is that you want a sauce that has the body of a reduction but with the eye popping brightness of the juice (knowing what kind of fruit juice would help here). I would also assume that you want the fruit flavor to be at the forefront and not just an accent.

Gelatin is a good idea for texture but might be a problem for flavor. Commercial gelatin is primarily a pork product and if cooked too intensely or too long will taste of pork, or at least "meaty." This may or may not be an issue for you. If its not (like you were making a blueberry sauce to go with duck) than I might suggest using a very reduced meat stock (past the demi glace stage) to thicken the juice.

However, if you want a sharp, tangy sauce (without that "meat" quality) I would start by reducing some of the juice down to a thick syrup, then adding fresh juice while the sauce is at a very low temp. With a little adjustment you should be able to find the balance between a developed, intense flavor with something fresh and vibrant.

---Al
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