Easy strawberry reduction
Strawberry reduction is super easy to make. In a nutshell, you puree strawberries, add a little lemon, salt and maybe some sugar and reduce by half over low heat. I typically use it for my strawberry cake recipe, strawberry buttercream, or as a cake filling so I like mine to be a bit thicker.
How to make a strawberry reduction
To make your strawberry puree thicker, you're going to want to simmer it for a few minutes. Simmering the mixture reduces the amount of moisture that is in the puree allowing for a stronger strawberry flavor with less liquid. The best thing about making a reduced strawberry puree is that it keeps all the flavor of the strawberries without adding extra moisture.
Fresh or frozen strawberries for strawberry puree?
I prefer to use frozen strawberries because frozen fruit is generally picked at the peak of freshness and then frozen. You get the most flavor in frozen strawberries.
If strawberries are in season though and you need to use them up, making puree is a great option. You can freeze leftover puree and defrost as you need it. If you're super talented and know how to can, you can make canned puree. This is definitely on my to-learn list.
When buying fresh strawberries, choose brightly colored, shiny berries that are dry, firm, and plump. They should still have fresh-looking green caps attached. Avoid soft, dull-looking, or shriveled berries. Since strawberries do not ripen after being picked, avoid berries that are partly white as that means they are unripe.
Anyone can make a strawberry puree. It's super easy and you know I like easy. It just takes two very important things. Strawberries and some patience.
How to make a strawberry reduction in 5 easy steps
- Defrost strawberries or chop up your fresh strawberries
- Place them in a small saucepan and give them a quick blend if you like a smoother reduction
- Add in sugar, lemon zest, extract and salt and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat
- Reduce the heat to low and allow to reduce (15-20 minutes) Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The reduction should look like tomato sauce, not watery.
- Let cool before using
How to store the leftover strawberry reduction
You can store leftover strawberry reduction in the fridge for two days or you can freeze it up to 6 months. Fresh strawberries are very prone to mold so be sure to only leave cakes with fresh fruit fillings at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Cakes with fresh fruit filling can be refrigerated for two days before consuming.
- 36 oz fresh or frozen strawberries
- 4 oz sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- Defrost strawberries if frozen or cut up strawberries if whole
- Blend strawberries if you prefer a smoother texture of strawberry puree
- Place strawberries and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over med heat
- Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and let slowly reduce until berries begin to break up and liquid is almost gone.
- Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. Add in lemon zest, juice and salt and stir to combine. Transfer to another container and let cool before use.
- Store extra in the freezer for up to 6 months
Issa Barr says
Hey, I followed your directions and I used fresh strawberries, they weren’t frozen. My strawberry purée doesn’t like look yours it’s a little runny, what should I do ?
Elizabeth Marek says
Just needs to be reduced a little bit more, you might need to turn up the heat a little if it seems like its taking too long
Jan A. says
Wow!!! This stuff is amazing and totally addictive!! Not too sweet, just right. I used 32oz of fresh California strawberries. Took about 30ish minutes to reduce. Came out with 2 cups. Which is perfect because after using it n your strawberry cake it leaves me a 1/4 cup to enjoy on pancakes. Thank you for sharing and for including a video, it helped me know what the consistency should be.
Hi! I don’t have the zest or anything like that. Just strawberries and sugar and salt. Will that be ok??
Elizabeth Marek says
Yes, its ok
J. Archuleta says
This is one of the best tasting strawberry purée I’ve ever made!! Thank you, thank you!!
I Was just going to use store bought but I thought “hey, why not try making it” I’m absolutely glad I made it! Now, attempting to make your strawberry cake recipe 🙂
Faith Schlatter says
Loved this. I made this strawberry reduction to flavor the white cake mix (made using your recipe to amp it up) for my son's wedding in May. Delicious! My brother-in-law made a strawberry filling to put between the layers and we iced the cake with buttercream frosting. (It ended up being a very small wedding due to COVID-19 and that's why I was making the cake.) We got loads of compliments. People saying it was the best wedding cake they had ever had. Thank you for the recipe!
i was wandering if I can add gelatin to the puree to prevent leaking since I want to use it as a roll cake filing ?? If yes , when I can add the gelatin for best result .
Elizabeth Marek says
Yes you defitely can, you will have to bloom the gelatin in cold water first then add it to your warm puree at the end
This recipe worked perfectly! Thank you so much.