What does it take to turn fresh strawberries into a sweet delicious sauce perfect for spooning onto cake or drizzling over ice cream? Just a bit of sugar and a smidge of time. Seriously, it's just that simple. Read this recipe and you'll never bother buying strawberry sauce again!
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
- First things first: You need to hull the strawberries. Hulling is a technique that cuts out the green stem and the white calyx below, rather than simply lopping off the green tops. If you've never hulled before, see this step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to insert the tip of a paring knife under the stem, turn the berry, and remove the calyx easily.
- Once you've hulled the berries you can slice or chop them. Note that the finer you chop them, the more sauce-like the final product will be.
- Put the sliced or chopped berries into a medium bowl. For an even saucier sauce, go ahead and use a meat tenderizer or the back of a spoon to crush the pieces of strawberry (or some of them).
- Sprinkle the sliced or chopped strawberries with sugar. Really ripe berries won't need a ton of sugar, but this method makes excellent use of ho-hum berries by sweetening them up and drawing out their juices.
- Cover and let sit (or macerate, which is the culinary term for the sweet equivalent of marinate) until the sugar has pulled out the juices from the strawberries and created a sauce. The strawberries will get a bit saucy within 15 minutes. Know that the longer they sit, the saucier they will get. Taste before you serve them and add more sugar, if you like.
The sauce will keep, covered and chilled, for 3 days, getting saucier as it sits.
- Sweet and Deep: Add 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar for a deeper sweet flavor. Add the vinegar to the berries before the sugar and let it sit for a few minutes so the berries soak up the vinegar, then add the sugar.
- Citrus Delight: Grate in a few gratings of orange zest along with the sugar (or just Orange Sugar) to add a light and fruity citrus note to the sauce.
- Kick It Up: Include 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger for a real kick of flavor.
- Boozey!: Stir in 1 tablespoon of kirsh or other fruit brandy for an alcoholic edge.
- Boozey Fruity: Sweeten and adult-ify with 1 tablespoon of Chambord or other fruit liqueur instead of brandy.
- More Berries: Substitute half the strawberries with raspberries. Other berries work, too, but blueberries and blackberries will, as you might imagine, turn the color of the final sauce quite dark.
- Cooked: Make a traditional cooked sauce by heating the berries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the berries start to break down; cook, stirring frequently, until the juices released cook down to more of a syrup, about 15 minutes.