Pigface Gastrique Recipe

by Corinne Mossati

How to make pigface gastrique, a culinary sauce using the fruit of pigface or Carpobrotus glaucescens to flavour meats and use in cocktails.

Pigface Gastrique

Pigface Gastrique – Photo © The Gourmantic Garden

What is a Gastrique

Gastrique is a culinary sauce, a reduction with a base of caramelised sugar and vinegar. The sweet and sour sauce resembles a thick syrup and is often thinned by the addition of stock.

The process of making gastrique begins with caramelising a mixture of water and sugar (sometimes honey) until it bubbles. Vinegar is subsequently carefully added to the mix followed by fruit to create a tart and thickened syrup. Examples of gastriques include red cherry or berries to accompany game, lemon gastrique with fish, blood range with duck and rhubarb with pork.

Pigface Fruit

Pigface Fruit – Photo © The Gourmantic Garden

For this recipe, I’m using the fruit of pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens), an Australian native edible that is commonly found around Sydney’s beaches and along sand dunes. From October to early January, pigface produces fuschia coloured flowers which turn into a fleshy fruit with the texture of lychee and a salty sweet flavour that is a cross between strawberry and lychee. You can read all about how to grow pigface in this article.

Pigface Gastrique Recipe


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pigface fruit, peeled and chopped


  1. In a small saucepan, add sugar and water and bring up the heat until it is dissolved. Do not stir the mixture.
  2. As it begins to caramelise and bubble, slowly and very carefully add the apple cider vinegar to avoid getting splashed then reduce the heat.
  3. When the mixture has fully combined, add the chopped pigface fruit and stir.
  4. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes over low heat.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully remove the solids.
  6. Leave to cool then fine strain and store in a flip top glass bottle or jar.
  7. Note: The leftover cooked pigface fruit can be consumed.

Pigface gastrique can be used in cocktails as well as a sauce to accompany game. It goes particularly well with a seared kangaroo fillet.

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag @the.gourmanticgarden on instagram.

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