Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Homemade Strawberry Sauce over Ice Cream



PHOTO TUTORIAL  |  PRINTABLE RECIPE  |  HUNGRY FOR TIPS?

Fear Conquered: Strawberry Sauce

"Um…" Boyfriend Javelin is standing in front of the open refrigerator, staring intently at something inside. And I brace myself. "Are you planning to use these strawberries…soon?" he asks, his voice bending up at the end. Trying not to sound irritated.

"Yes," I say, with all the gritty determination I can muster. "Hopefully tomorrow." And I try to remember why I bought those darn berries to begin with. A pie, maybe. Which might explain that past-date tub of mascarpone cheese blissfully bloating at the back of the fridge. "Are they looking bad?" I ask.

He clears his throat and reaches into the fridge to pull out the plastic carton. What was once a full container of fresh, bright red berries, has now collapsed down to about two-thirds the volume. And filled with dull, brownish red berries. With hazy splotches of white fuzz. "Well," Boyfriend Javelin says slowly. "You might be able to still use…some of these?"

1 Pound of Fresh Strawberries

"Maybe…" I say doubtfully, keeping a safe distance from the container. And shivering a little at the thought of digging through that cold, white fuzziness with a bare finger. Without moving, I stretch my neck to peer a tad closer. "Are there ANY without mold?"

He pops open the lid and lets out a sigh. "Well…I don't know," he says, giving the carton a brisk shake. And letting out a hiss as droplets of juice strike his bare toes. "There might be one or two. Maybe?" He extends the carton towards me and I peer in, but I don't take it. White fuzz. Everywhere.

Don't fret. I didn't make this sauce using moldy strawberries. In fact, those particular berries met a covert death at the machinations of the kitchen sink disposal - if there can be anything covert about a noisy, clattering disposal not so subtlety masked by boisterous, off-key singing! Boyfriend Javelin has been known to rescue fuzzy berries on occasion and I always feel a bit guilty at my lack of mercy.

While I wouldn't attempt to use fuzzy berries, this sauce is certainly the perfect way to use up those somewhat over-ripe, not-quite-presentable berries. A little bit squishy? No problem. Oozing juice? Perfect. Just chuck them into a saucepan, add a bit of sugar, a squeeze of lemon - and you've finished the hard part. A little simmering, a quick puree - and you've transformed sadness into homemade strawberry sauce.

Granulated Sugar Added to Berries

The possibilities for a homemade sauce are both obvious and subtle. I love this sauce over ice cream, cheesecake and strawberry shortcakes, but it's equally impressive as base for strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie, strawberry milk and more. And the flavor is so much brighter and more authentic than that artificial medicine stuff bottled and sold everywhere as "strawberry syrup". I don't know what that stuff is, but it has nothing in common with real strawberries. Even the coloring is wrong - some kind of other-worldly mutant neon magenta.

Strawberry Sauce Coating Back of Spoon

So resist the pretty pink plastic packaging and buy a carton of ripe strawberries instead. Then when you forget to use them and someone discovers they're not quite so fresh, you'll know exactly what to do. And hopefully it's not a covert execution down the disposal…



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Photo Tutorial

1 Pound of Fresh Strawberries
You will need 1 pound of fresh or frozen strawberries.

Hulling and Halving Strawberries
If using fresh berries, hull and halve the berries.

Strawberries and Raspberris in Saucepan
Add the halved berries and 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries to a medium saucepan.

Half a Lemon with Juicer
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the berries.

Granulated Sugar Added to Berries
Sprinkle 3/4 cup of granulated sugar over the berries.

Sugar and Berries Combined
Stir all the ingredients together until combined.

Sugar and Berries After Mascerating
Let the berries macerate for 15 minutes.

Berries Cooking in Covered Saucepan
Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cooked Strawberry Sauce
Cook the berries until mostly broken down.

Pureeing Strawberry Sauce with Imersion Blender
Puree the berries until smooth. Optionally strain to remove the seeds.

Strawberry Sauce Coating Back of Spoon
Cook the sauce over medium heat for 15 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Chill the sauce.

Homemade Strawberry Sauce over Ice Cream
Serve the sauce chilled as a topping for ice cream, cheesecake or other desserts.



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Homemade Strawberry Sauce

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 10 min
     Cook Time: 50 min

Ingredients (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice and sugar; allow the berries to macerate for 15 minutes
  2. Cover the saucepan and bring berries to a low boil; simmer the berries over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down; puree and optionally strain
  3. Simmer the pureed sauce uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently
  4. Let the sauce cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container; serve chilled as a topping for ice cream, cake, cheesecake, etc.
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Hungry for Tips?
  • Strain: I prefer my strawberry sauce as smooth as possible without hundreds of tiny seeds to crunch on. If you don't mind seeds, don't bother straining. However, if you do strain, don't wait until the very end (after the sauce has thickened) or you'll have a hard time passing it through the mesh.
     
  • Lemon and Raspberries: Why add lemon or raspberries to a strawberry sauce? Because a handful of raspberries and a squeeze of lemon brings out the strawberry flavor. Trust me - you won't tasty raspberry or lemon, but both make the strawberries taste brighter and sharper.

    Half a Lemon with Juicer
     
  • Fresh or Frozen: You can make this sauce with either fresh or frozen berries. I like to stock up and freeze off bags of berries when they're in season and the good news is, regardless of fresh or frozen, the final sauce turns out the same. Which means you can make this sauce year-round.

    Strawberries and Raspberris in Saucepan
     
  • Multipurpose: This sauce is certainly delicious as a topping for breakfast or dessert: ice cream waffles, pancakes, cheesecake, shortcakes, crepes, etc. But I also use this same sauce as a base for a variety of sweet treats including strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie, strawberry-swirl cheesecake - and more recently, strawberry tiramisu and strawberry sweet rolls. Simple sauce, so many options.

    Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Slice Overhead



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My friends Anneli (from Delicieux) and Louisa (from Eat Your Veg) host a wonderful monthly challenge called Four Seasons Food (SFS) - check it out and enjoy this month's delicious theme of Sliding in to Autumn!

Four Seasons Food
Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Chezfoti


19 comments:

  1. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)September 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    ugh strawberries seem to go bad so quickly-bane of my existence! This sauce looks beautiful and so tastyyy-a perfect way to use up any errant berries before they get fuzzy ;P

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  2. Wow - your sauce is such a stunning colour and so clear! And how inspiringly versatile - although just spooned over ice cream looks like the perfect use to me! I wonder how long you could keep it for? No doubt longer than fresh whole strawberries. And I bet you could freeze it well too... A great recipe, perfect for the end of Summer. Thanks for entering and supporting Four Seasons Food x

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  3. I agree, Kayle - I always seem to overestimate how long my berries will last - and then so shocked when I discover the white fuzz! :/

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  4. Thanks for the kind words, Anneli - the sauce will keep for at least a couple weeks in the fridge and I would also imagine it could be frozen without a problem. But I haven't tried that yet. I'm so glad you enjoyed and happy to share with FSF!

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  5. Per chance did you in fact melt rubies instead of strawberries? The colour is so jewel-like and rich. Beautiful!

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  6. No rubies were harmed during the making of this sauce ;)

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  7. Bintu @ Recipes From A PantrySeptember 13, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Ooooh that just looks so sweet, nice and moreish. I would love some with greek yoghurt and almonds. Sharing this.

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  8. That would certainly be another delicious use for the sauce, Bintu - and I'm stealing the idea because I often have extra of this sauce hanging around and I don't want to JUST eat desserts ;)

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  9. I love making any kind of berry sauce, and strawberry is my favorite. Yours looks great. And I hate letting berries go too long and having them get all fuzzy! I even hate it more when they're fresh from the store and there are a few moldy ones in the container. :-(

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  10. I agree with you, John - moldy berries straight from the store is the worst. I always try to examine the berries as best I can before purchasing, but it never seems foolproof. Sadly, too many times I overestimate how many berries I'll end up using :/

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  11. I too have trouble admitting defeat to the devils of waste and neglect. Glad to see your triumph here. GREG

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  12. Oh boy, so during berry season, this is basically what happens to me: either I buy fresh, organic, beautiful berries and then get sidetracked and immediately sad when I blink and they're all of a sudden shrivel-y, or I get so paranoid that that's GOING to happen so I shovel them all into my mouth in the span of a day or two before they have a chance to turn. They're such tricky ingredients! But I do love making a good berry sauce :)

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  13. Could definitely pour some of this over ice cream! I'm really dreading seeing berry season disappear on us. It's getting close, but you are doing a great job keeping it alive!

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  14. I think it's a problem everyone has at some point. Although I think I may be particularly bad about fresh berries. It's happened at least 3 times this summer alone :/

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  15. I know exactly what you mean, Jess. And when I'm really vigilant, I can often remember to freeze the berries before they cross over. But this sauce is a great use for all the frozen berries as well...

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  16. Awe, I'm so glad you enjoyed, MJ! It's hard to believe summer is pretty much gone. It hung around for a while here in September, but now things are finally started to cool down...

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  17. I often throw together frozen berries to make a quick sauce when I need to last-minute spruce up a dessert.

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  18. Besides running out of freezer space, I don't think there's ever such a thing as too many frozen berries. They can always be used in something...

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