A compote is a step short of a topping or sauce, where the fruit is cooked briefly with a sweetener until it releases its natural juices. It's quick, easy, and has a deep strawberry flavor. A sweet, perfect topping for pancakes, rice pudding, french toast, ice cream, strawberry shortcakes, and other desserts.
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What is a compote?
It's a sweet preparation made by cooking fruits with sugar until they become tender and form a syrup-like consistency. It is a versatile preparation that can be served warm or chilled.
A compote has, in theory, just two ingredients, fruit and sugar.
And that's debatable because you can make it with just fruit and water, letting the natural sugars from the fruit be released and used as the sweetener.
Recipes usually add water to create a good amount of syrup, as the juice released by the fruit might not be enough.
About this compote recipe
This is a great recipe for when strawberry season hits and you find your favorite type of fresh strawberries, buy too many, and then need to find more recipes to use them.
This is not a smooth strawberry sauce, it's not meant to be processed or anything like that. That would be more of a coulis.
The beauty of a fresh fruit compote are the chunks and the not-overly-sweet or thick juice.
Lemon juice is a good addition to be used instead of, or in addition to, water to cut through all the sugar and balance the compote. Similar to what we use for our delicious strawberry sauce or topping.
So I give you all the options in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Is strawberry compote the same as jam?
No, it's not. The recipe for jam contains a lot more sugar and is cooked for a much longer time.
- Strawberries: the more seasonal they are, the better the flavor. This is a forgiving recipe, so even though we always aim to get the sweetest strawberries, it's perfect for using berries that are not in their prime. And, it works well with frozen strawberries. The flavor will not be as deep, in my opinion.
- Sugar: use brown or white granulated sugar.
- Lemon juice: balances out the sweetness and adds freshness, but it's optional. Orange juice or lime juice can also be used.
How to make a strawberry compote
It takes 5 minutes once you have the ingredients ready.
Preparing the strawberries: I mostly like to leave them whole, but it's up to you if you want to halve them or cut them in quarters. Remember that the smaller the pieces are, the more they soften when cooking.
- Mix strawberries with sugar in a medium bowl (image 1) and let macerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You will see that the berries have sweated, and a thick syrup forms in the bowl's bottom.
- Put everything in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the water and citrus juice if using (image 2) and let it all come to a simmer (image 3).
- When the strawberries are soft, check if the syrup has thickened. This, again, is up to you, however thick or thin you like it. If it's too thin, remove the berries from the saucepan (image 4), put them in a bowl. Return the juice to the stove and reduce the syrup further (image 5), cooking it for a minute or two more.
- Pour the syrup onto the reserved strawberries (image 6) and let it cool down until ready to refrigerate in an airtight container or bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Uses: this strawberry compote recipe is lighter than a regular topping or sauce. And one of those easy recipes that's great for breakfast food like waffles, pancakes, porridge or oatmeal (my favorite way), chia pudding, french toast, or granola and plain yogurt, and also for desserts like vanilla ice cream, pound cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream, or cheesecake.
- Amount of sugar: adding a few extra tablespoons of sugar can be adjusted depending on how sweet you want the finished sauce. But a fruit compote uses less sugar than a jam or thick topping with cornstarch.
- Other sweeteners: you can use honey, maple syrup, or some other type of sugar syrup instead of regular sugar. Add it to the saucepan with the strawberries and the water.
- Flavorings: citrus can be used to flavor this homemade strawberry compote recipe. Add some orange or lemon zest or a few drops of vanilla extract at the beginning. Also, a tablespoon of orange liqueur can be added for a more sophisticated flavor.
- Other berries: you can substitute the strawberries for other fresh berries (or frozen ones). But remember that compote recipes work best with more sturdy ones like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries than with more delicate ones like raspberries.
How to store strawberry compote?
Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container or glass jar. It'll last for a few weeks.
Can you freeze strawberry compote?
Yes, you can. Put in an airtight container that is apt for the freezer. It will last for a month.
How to make strawberry compote for cheesecake?
Prepare it according to instructions, let it cool down, and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours to thicken the syrup. For an thicker topping, use our homemade strawberry sauce recipe.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 1 pound strawberries
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- Wash the strawberries, hull them, cut them in half, or leave them whole if small, and put them in a large bowl with the sugar.
- Mix lightly and let stand 45 minutes to macerate. The strawberries will release their natural juices.
- Put the berries with the juice, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat.
- Cook over medium-low heat until it comes to a slow simmer stirring a few times until the liquid starts to thicken and the berries soften slightly. You can cook them more or less depending on how soft you like them, but we don’t want the strawberries to turn to mush or break up much.
- Transfer the fruit to a bowl leaving the syrup in the saucepan. Using a skimmer or other type of colander for this step makes it very easy.
- Cook the juice a minute or two more so it thickens further and pour it over the fruit.
- Let the mixture cool down and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container or glass jar before refrigerating it. It lasts several weeks in the fridge.
- Use it cold, at room temperature, or warm, it's really up to you depending on what you serve it with.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Other berries: you can substitute the strawberries for other fresh berries (or frozen). But, keep in mind that compote recipes work best with more sturdy ones like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries than with more delicate ones like raspberries.
Uses: this strawberry compote recipe is lighter than a regular topping or sauce. And one of those easy recipes that's great for breakfast food like waffles, pancakes, porridge or oatmeal (my favorite way), chia pudding, french toast, or granola and plain yogurt, and also for desserts like vanilla ice cream, pound cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream, or cheesecake.
Amount of sugar: it can be adjusted depending on how sweet you want the finished sauce by adding a few extra tablespoons of sugar. But a fruit compote uses less sugar than a jam or thick topping with cornstarch.
Other sweeteners: if you don't want to use sugar, you can add honey or maple syrup or some other type of sugar syrup you like to the saucepan with the strawberries and the water.
Flavorings: citrus can be used to flavor this homemade strawberry compote recipe. Add some orange zest or lemon zest at the beginning or a few drops of vanilla extract. Also, a tablespoon of orange liqueur can be added for a more sophisticated flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: ⅛
- Calories: 32
- Sugar: 6.2 g
- Sodium: 1.8 mg
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.9 g
- Protein: 0.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: strawberry compote