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.
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Whats The Difference Between A Puree and A Reduction?
Strawberry reduction and strawberry puree are not the same thing. A puree is just blended strawberries and is mostly water. For baking we typically need the strawberry flavor to be more intense.
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.
Strawberry Reduction Ingredients
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
How to make a strawberry reduction in 5 easy steps
- Defrost your strawberries or chop up your fresh strawberries.
- Blend your strawberries in a blender or give them a quick blend using an immersion blender.
- Add the blended strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and salt and bring it all to a simmer on medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low so it's just barely bubbling and allow the mixture to reduce (40-60 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The reduction should look like tomato sauce, not watery.
- Let the strawberry reduction 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 consumption.
- 1 Blender
- 32 oz fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 oz sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- Defrost strawberries if frozen or cut up strawberries if whole.
- Blend your strawberries.
- Place strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over med heat.
- Once bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let slowly reduce until berries begin to break up and the liquid is almost gone. This can take between 40-60 minutes depending on how much liquid you have.
- Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. Transfer to another container and let cool before use.