Strawberry puree and roasted strawberry puree. Concentrated flavor from fresh picked berries, or berries that have been roasted in the oven until tender. Incredibly delicious with endless uses.
I love strawberries. For their beauty as well as their flavor. They are available year round in San Diego. Right now, as we start November, I can still pick up gorgeous berries at Sprouts Farmers Market or Specialty Produce.
As a pastry chef, I use fruit sauces, purees, butters, etc. on a daily basis. They add amazing fruit flavor in small amounts. A teaspoon or tablespoon of apple butter can transform apple muffins or cupcakes into a treat that really pleases.
Strawberry puree is seriously delicious. It pairs perfectly with homemade ice cream or cheesecake, and adds moisture between cake layers. Strawberry puree is an excellent addition to buttercream.
I use this puree to prepare muffins, cupcakes, tarts, cheesecakes, ice cream, dessert bars, and truffles. And much more. Strawberry puree has vibrant red color that showcases well in sauces, flavored whip cream, and pastry cream.
While you can simply blend fresh strawberries, I prefer to add the berries to a small saucepan and heat them over low heat until they are tender. The process takes about 15 minutes. I’ll add some lemon juice and a tiny bit of brown sugar to the simmering berries, depending on their sweetness.
Roasting strawberries takes the flavor to another level. High heat and 20 minutes of baking time softens the berries, caramelizes the sugars, and creates a rich, thick syrup. The berries might not be as pretty as they were when they went into the oven, but the flavor is concentrated and they are so good. Eating them straight off the tray is unavoidable.
When I roast strawberries, I often toss them into a 9-inch baking dish where they are crowded and stacked on top of one another. I’ll add some additional flavors that complement the berries like lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, spent vanilla bean carcasses, etc. Once the berries have roasted you can easily remove the extras and the tender berries are ready for use on pancakes, with yogurt, or for pureeing.
Pureeing is a simple process. Add fresh, gently simmered, or roasted strawberries to the blender, food processor, or Vitamix, and process until smooth. Straining out the seeds is optional, but a step I usually take.