Our Strawberry season is just ending up Nord, here, in Minnesota. So before it’s too late, I’ve been taking advantage and using strawberries, a lot! One is this Fresh Strawberry Compote. It’s just a simple, little sauce but it’s infused with fresh strawberry flavor.
If you have the best strawberries, you’re going to be in heaven, but even if you just have plain old grocery store strawberries I’m going to pull out a few tricks that will enhance their flavor. You are gonna love this drop-dead simple Strawberry Sauce!
About Fresh Strawberry Compote:
My Fresh Strawberry Compote couldn’t be simpler. Only two ingredients, strawberries, and sugar. It’s fresh and natural and absolutely delish. A compote is basically a strawberry sauce that’s been cooked down into a syrup, so you do need sugar in this recipe. If you’re not into using basic sugar, just use a mild honey so that the strawberries are the most prominent flavor or a honey that complements the strawberries.Maybe an orange blossom honey.
I know there are some people that won’t be happy with just plain strawberry flavor, even if they’re great strawberries. Just read on and you’ll find some suggestions to zip up your compote. If you’d like to know more about Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and Compotes, see this article by Serious Eats.
Serve your Fresh Strawberry Compote over just about anything you’d like. Maybe you’d like yours as a dessert topping – it’s so good over vanilla ice-cream or maybe you’d like to use it in crepes or on pancakes or waffles like I did the other day when I made my Cook’s Illustrated Buttermilk Pancakes. Speaking of ice-cream, folding this well chilled (partially freeze it so it’s really thick) Fresh Strawberry Compote into a home-made vanilla ice cream will give you chunks of fruit and ribbons of strawberry. Just sayin’.
Making Fresh Strawberry Compote:
The process of making your Fresh Strawberry Compote couldn’t be easier. Just dump your strawberries and sugar into a (preferably) heavy pan and bring to a slow simmer. Once the juices begin to release from the strawberries, give it a stir and then let that compote simmer away until desired thickness. If you want to, smash a few of the strawberries but for a clear, gorgeous sauce, I just leave it alone.
If your strawberries aren’t the greatest (and it happens to us all – we pick up a basket of strawberries, they look fantastic, but when we get them home, there’s like no strawberry flavor!) you’ll want to a little sumpin’ to bring that flavor forward. Think citrus, maybe a squeeze of orange and some orange juice, a dollop of orange juice concentrate. Or maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime.
A little touch of vanilla extract can be nice, and so can a teaspoon or two of white or plain balsamic vinegar or a red or white wine vinegar. If you’re into it, and budget allows, there’s nothing wrong with a teaspoon or two of Grand Marnier. Oh, darn, that means you’ll have to drink the rest of the bottle! A pinch of salt can do wonders and pepper, too, has an affinity for strawberries.
Saving Money on Fresh Strawberry Compote:
I’ve picked up some great strawberries this year at Aldi, for $1.29 a pound, and my grocery store often has sales, especially during holiday weeks, 2 pounds for $5.00, about half the regular price. Planning your strawberry indulgences around the sale prices is a great strategy. Sometimes the price per pound, per package can be confusing. In the U.S. strawberries are usually sold by the pound in “pint” packages. It’s easy to remember that “A pint is a pound” the world ’round.
During the season, pick your own strawberry farms are a fantastic idea. You’re going to get the freshest strawberries and the cost is generally less than buying at the store. The best part of this is that you know every strawberry you pick is going to be perfectly ripe. You won’t have any concerns about picking up a basket of strawberries, getting it home and finding it tasteless or even worse, find a few good strawberries on top with unripe strawberries below. You’ve got to factor that waste into the cost of your grocery store berries.
When working with strawberries, wash the whole fruit, stem and all, and you can drop the stem parts into water or tea to infuse into a marvelous drink. And yes, the stems and hulls with that tiny bit of fruit in them have a ton of strawberry flavor. I call this “Spa Water on a Budget.” When hulling, try the straw trick, it works like a charm. If not, don’t cut across the top of the strawberry. Pull the leaves together and use a small paring knife to run around the top of the fruit at a 45-degree angle, leaving a cone-shaped piece of stem and hull. That makes for much less waste.
Fresh Strawberry Compote
- 1 pound of fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Slice strawberries into a generous 1/4″ slices or half or quarter strawberries, depending on size. Place in a heavy saucepan and add sugar. Heat over medium heat until the strawberries begin to give up their juices, then stir. Bring to a simmer, stirring as necessary and cook until the sauce has thickened and strawberries are at the desired softness, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Remove from heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator.
- If the strawberries are cooked as you like, but the sauce isn’t thick enough, use a slotted spoon to remove the strawberries and simmer the sauce a bit longer.
- If desired, some of the strawberries can be mashed. Do this after they’ve started to soften.
Click on the photos below to see the text on how to easily hull strawberries.
I’ll be posting Fresh Strawberry Compote at Fiesta Friday 232, hosted this week by Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog. Stop over, mingle a bit and check out all the best food blogger recipes for the week, all in one place.