A simple fruity base for cakes, deserts and sauces
IMAGE: STRAWBERRIES BY FRIED DOUGH
Today we have a quick and simple recipe for strawberry purée. You can adapt this for any soft or summer fruit such as other berries. If you are using a harder fruit such as apples or pears you’ll need to cook the fruit down over a longer period. Also don’t take the sugar as a hard and fast amount. It’s easy to over sweeten this by adding too much sugar, don’t forget as your fruit breaks down it will be releasing a lot of wonderful natural fruit sugars into the liquid.
You can use purée as a base for a variety of dishes such as a Strawberry sponge or when finishing an Eton Mess. Depending on what you are using the purée for you may need to vary the consistency. If you reduce it too much it almost becomes jam, not much good as a sauce, but if you don’t reduce it enough when using in a sponge you’ll end up with too wet a batter. If you are using it in the Cheesecake Cake recipe I’ll be publishing in a few days or any sponge cake recipe I recommend cooking out as much of the liquid as you can else it will upset the balance of your batter and lead to a soggy cake.
The longer you cook the strawberries, or whatever fruit you decide to use in making your purée the more concentrated the flavour will end up being. I recommend using fresh fruit when making a purée as they hold a lot less liquid than their frozen counterparts. If you do use frozen fruit you shouldn’t need to add any water as the fruit will release more than enough as it cooks down.
I used fresh strawberries when I cooked this and you can see from the pictures I just prepared them by cutting them up into quarters. Depending on the time of year and the fruit you use you may well need to use a stick blender to finish the compot and purée into a smooth sauce. I didn’t need to do this as they cooked down into a silky smooth reduction by themselves, technically making what I used a compot but ho hum, it worked anyway!
Anyway here’s the recipe.
Makes about 1 – 2 cups
- 700g / 1.5 punnets strawberries
- 2-3 tbsp sugar*
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water**
Remove the leafs from the strawberries, wash and cut into quarters. Set aside.
In a large, heavy bottom pan, add the strawberries and just enough water to stop the fresh fruit catching and burning on the bottom as they heat up. Dust the sugar over it and stir together. Add the lemon juice and your away.
Cook over a medium heat for 30 – 60 minutes. The time depends on how much you want to reduce it down by. If you’re using it for a sponge cake (like I did) you want to reduce it down quite a bit till you have a thick compot.
If you’re using it for a sauce I’d recommend blitzing it with a hand blender then passing through a fine sieve to catch the seeds before you use it, you’ll have the smoothest, silkiest puree imaginable.
How did I use the strawberry puree? In a delish Strawberry Cheesecake Cake – coming soon!