A delicious strawberry compote crafted with just two simple ingredients – fresh strawberries and a bit of sugar! A perfect topping for cheesecake, ice cream, cakes or breakfast foods, this delicious strawberry sauce comes together with minimal effort and time resources, but it can be used in hundreds of different ways! And once you’ve mastered this easy compote recipe, you can start experimenting with all the different fruit and ripe berries using exactly the same method! It is certainly a great recipe to have handy when you are looking to add a tasty topping to your desserts!
- The Versatility of Strawberry Compote
- But What Is Compote?
- Ingredients and Substitutes
- How To Hull Fresh Strawberries?
- Method: How To Make Strawberry Sauce?
- Tips & Tricks For Best Results
- Storage & Making Ahead
- Other Recipe FAQs
- Other Delicious Dessert Toppings For Cheesecake and More
- Scrumptious Strawberry Recipes To Try Next
- Recipe Card
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The Versatility of Strawberry Compote
Not only is this quick strawberry compote recipe easy and effortless to make, but it also uses only two everyday ingredients. It is also a perfect way to use up a glut of strawberries when they are in season (and you can freeze some for later). And it can certainly brighten up a whole bunch of your dessert recipes. We are here to show how versatile strawberry compote is. Here are some different ways to use it:
- It is a perfect strawberry topping for cheesecake (our favorite way to use it is to spoon it over New York Cheesecake).
- A delicious compote for topping ice cream or Greek yogurt.
- Simple strawberry compote is a delicious way to brighten up your breakfast: serve it with Sourdough Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast or top your Chia Pudding with it.
- Sandwich your strawberry shortcakes (or Victoria sponges) with whipped cream and this strawberry sauce (make sure to reduce it a bit more, so it’s thicker though).
- Use it as a topping for summer panna cotta.
- Make yoghurt granola pots!
- Make a thicker compote and use it as a fruit spread for your morning toast.
But What Is Compote?
Compote is a versatile fruit-based sauce or topping that is made by simmering fresh or dried fruit in sugar syrup and sometimes spices or lemon zest. The gentle cooking process allows the fruits to soften and release their natural juices, resulting in a thick and flavorful sauce with tender fruit pieces. Compote is often served as a dessert topping, enjoyed on its own, or used as a filling in pastries and cakes.
What’s The Difference Between Compote and Coulis?
While compote and coulis share some similarities, they have distinct characteristics. Compote is typically made with whole or sliced fruits that are simmered in a sweet syrup until they soften, while coulis is a smooth puree made from cooked or raw fruits that are blended and strained to remove any seeds or solids.
Ingredients and Substitutes
This homemade strawberry sauce is made with very simple ingredients – and just two of them. You can get them in any grocery store, and you can even substitute them with whatever you have on hand to make a deliciously easy fruit sauce. Here’s what we used:
- strawberries: we used fresh ripe strawberries. We specifically chose smaller strawberries for this recipe so we can have small pieces of fruit without having to chop the strawberries too much.
- caster sugar: also known as superfine sugar. It can be replaced with white granulated sugar or even light brown sugar. However, note that using brown sugar will muddle the colour of the sauce a little.
How To Hull Fresh Strawberries?
Here are the simple steps on how to hull strawberries to ensure minimal waste:
- Use a strawberry huller or a sharp paring knife.
- Hold the strawberry gently and insert the huller or knife at a slight angle into the top where the stem is attached.
- Cut in a conical shape around the stem, gradually removing the stem and tough white core.
- Be mindful of the depth to avoid cutting too much of the fruit.
- Repurpose the cores! They are a great way to add a sweet taste of strawberries to water (we love flavoured water!).
- Compost any remaining scraps.
Method: How To Make Strawberry Sauce?
Halve or quarter the strawberries, considering the size of the berries and your desired chunkiness for the strawberry compote.
Add the strawberries and sugar to the medium saucepan and cook over low heat, using a wooden spoon to gently stir until the juices are released and the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, or until the strawberries have softened and the sauce reaches a syrupy consistency. If you have finely chopped the strawberries, the cooking time may be shorter. Keep in mind, that the sauce will thicken further as it cools.
Once done, allow the compote to cool down before transferring it to an airtight container for storage in the refrigerator.
Tips & Tricks For Best Results
Here are some valuable tips and tricks to elevate your strawberry compote-making game:
Gentle Simmer For Best Results
Maintain a gentle simmer while cooking the sauce. If it starts to simmer vigorously, reduce the heat to medium-low or even low. Keep in mind that gas stoves tend to have higher heat intensity compared to electric stoves, so adjust accordingly. The goal is to achieve a gentle simmer, which will help thicken the sauce without breaking down the berries excessively.
Just The Right Level of Sweetness
Before you start making this easy strawberry compote recipe, taste your strawberries. If they are extremely sweet already, you may want to either:
- Reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe (however, less sugar may mean that you cannot store this Strawberry Sauce for as long, as sugar acts as a preservative), or
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Lemon is not only a great addition to add tangy taste balancing the sweetness in the recipe, but it will also act as an extra preservative, extending the shelf life of your strawberry compote. Lime or even orange juice makes a delicious addition too.
The vibrant red colour is very appealing when it comes to this beautiful strawberry topping for desserts. Here are a few tips:
- Choose small strawberries. From our experience, the smaller the strawberries, the more red they are on the inside, making the sauce brighter colour.
- Add a bit of lemon juice at the start – it helps bring out and intensify the colour.
- Add a drip of red food colouring.
Why Is My Strawberry Sauce Not Thickening?
There are a few ways to go about the sauce not thickening. However, if you want to serve Strawberry Compote cold, as a topping for cheesecake or a bowl of vanilla ice cream, keep in mind that the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. If you don’t mind the berries disintegrating, simply simmer the compote for longer. The excess liquid will simply evaporate.
If you would like to keep your strawberry shape, make a little cornstarch slurry. Simply mix half a teaspoon of cornstarch (corn flour) with a tablespoon of cold water. Add this mixture to the strawberries and mix for a minute until you arrive at a thick strawberry compote.
Strawberry Compote Is Too Thick
If you took your strawberry compote too far and it is looking more like a strawberry jam, fret not. Simply add a splash of water. If your thick compote is too sweet due to reducing it too far, you also benefit from adding a bit of lemon juice to it to balance the sweetness with tangy juice.
Make Your Strawberry Compote Smooth
If you want your Strawberry Sauce less chunky, use a potato masher to break up the softened strawberries. A smoother compote will make a great strawberry topping for cheesecake or vanilla panna cotta. If you want to make coulis (a completely smooth compote), cool the compote down to room temperature, then blitz it in a powerful smoothie maker or a food processor until no chunks remain.
Storage & Making Ahead
Once your strawberry sauce is made, you can serve with warm with your chosen desserts or breakfast items. If you wish to serve it later, you can spoon it into an airtight container, like a glass jar or a small Tupperware box and store it in the fridge. Serve it cold or at room temperature later.
How Long Will Strawberry Sauce Last In The Fridge? It should last about 4-5 days in the fridge if kept in an airtight container.
Can I Freeze Strawberry Topping For Cheesecake? Yes, to make the most of in-season strawberries, freeze any extra strawberry topping you have. Prepare additional batches to save for special occasions like or whenever you want to serve cheesecake (yes, that’s what we primarily use this Strawberry Compote for…). Ensure that the strawberry topping is stored in an airtight, freezer-safe container. It can be safely frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, simply transfer the container to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
Can I Reheat Strawberry Compote? Yes, you may reheat the sauce in a small saucepan on medium-low heat, until it’s warmed through. But keep an eye on it, or you will end up with a thicker compote. We don’t recommend reheating it in a microwave – it can make a real mess…
Other Recipe FAQs
Whilst we love using fresh berries in this recipe in summer (there’s nothing like fresh strawberry flavor, right?), it is actually often a better idea to use frozen strawberries when they are out of season. Instead of watery and tasteless imported strawberries, use berries that were frozen in their prime.
Cook the strawberries from frozen with a little sugar – it will take longer, as you will have whole frozen fruit to thaw and cook down, but the result will be great! If you want to make the strawberry sauce less chunky, simply use a potato masher to break the berries up once they’ve softened, or pop your strawberry compote into a smoothie maker/ food processor and blitz it into a coulis.
Absolutely! Make blueberry compote or raspberry compote, using exactly the same method. Most fresh fruit and berries (and some frozen ones) will work in this recipe. However, consider the time it may take for the fruit to soften and adjust the sugar in the recipe.
It depends. We personally enjoy this Strawberry Compote at room temperature, especially when served as a topping for cheesecake or on top of ice cream. However, the warm sauce can be served with sponge cake (like angel food cake). Warm Strawberry Sauce also makes a lovely sweet topping for French Toast or Pancakes.
Other Delicious Dessert Toppings For Cheesecake and More
If fruit compote is not your vibe, try some decadently sweet cheesecake toppings instead. Our favorite recipes include:
Scrumptious Strawberry Recipes To Try Next
Make the most of the strawberry season with these delicious desserts:
Strawberry Compote (Strawberry Topping For Cheesecake)
- 250 g strawberries hulled and cut in half or quarters
- 35 g caster sugar
- Place the strawberries and sugar in a pan and cook on low heat until juices release and sugar dissolves.
- Carry on cooking for 10-15 minutes until strawberries soften and the sauce turns syrupy consistency.
- Leave to cool down and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Once your strawberry sauce is made, you can serve with warm with your chosen desserts or breakfast items. If you wish to serve it later, you can spoon it into an airtight container, like a glass jar or a small Tupperware box and store it in the fridge. Serve it cold or at room temperature later. How Long Will Strawberry Sauce Last In The Fridge? It should last about 4-5 days in the fridge if kept in an airtight container. Can I Freeze Strawberry Topping For Cheesecake? Yes, to make the most of in-season strawberries, freeze any extra strawberry topping you have. Ensure that the strawberry topping is stored in an airtight, freezer-safe container. It can be safely frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, simply transfer the container to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Can I Reheat Strawberry Compote? Yes, you may reheat the sauce in a small saucepan on medium-low heat, until it’s warmed through.