Wondering “what is strawberry puree?” Well, this cheat sheet will explain exactly how it is made, the simple ingredients used, and much more!
Today, we will be looking at everything puree! We will have an in-depth look at how it compares to jams, sauces, and syrups, and exactly what you need to make it at home. Then, naturally, we will give you step-by-step instructions on making puree and how you can use it for savory and sweet recipes.
What Is Strawberry Puree?
Strawberry puree is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used for both savory and sweet culinary purposes. It is, naturally, made from fresh strawberries, but often has added sugar and lemon juice added to help with the flavor.
Puree should be cooked to ensure that you can create a smooth final product once you have blended it. The mixture can also be put through a strainer or sieved to remove any lumps or impurities (in this case, the tiny strawberry seeds).
Strawberry Puree Recipes
Naturally, strawberries are the hero ingredient to make a strawberry puree. Fresh strawberries work the best, but we have seen recipes use preserved or even dried strawberries.
Strawberry puree can be made using only fresh strawberries, but only when they are very ripe and at their sweetest. Sugar is usually added to help create a balanced flavor, especially when you are using strawberries that aren’t very sweet.
You can use granulated white sugar, fine sugar (also known as castor sugar), or powdered sugar (icing sugar). We wouldn’t recommend using brown sugar, sugar syrups, or any other type of sweetener, simply because it changes the flavor profile a lot – unless of course, that is what you are trying to do!
The addition of lemon juice also has to do with creating a balanced flavor profile. Lemon juice helps enhance the natural flavors in the strawberries and reduces the intensity of the sweetness. But, it also has some other functions.
First, lemon juice helps retain the bright reddish-pink color of the strawberry puree. Then, it can also help preserve the puree because of its natural acidity.
If you don’t have lemon juice, you can also use lime juice if you’d like. Even though these are acidic ingredients, that doesn’t make vinegar a good substitution. Rather go for something like an acidic fruit (kumquats, grapefruits, etc.). You can use vinegar as a last-resort substitution in savory recipes!
Other additional ingredients that are sometimes added to strawberry puree include extracts. This can be vanilla, peach, mint, or even banana. These are all flavoring ingredients that are easy to add and help create an interesting flavor.
Puree Strawberries Vs Strawberry Jam
Arguably the biggest difference between strawberry puree and strawberry jam comes down to their consistency. Strawberry jam is much thicker in consistency compared to the runnier strawberry puree.
This thick consistency for strawberry jam is achieved in a few ways. First, it is often cooked with a lot more sugar which thickens as the jams cool. Then, the mixture is cooked and reduced for a much longer time – hours in fact!
Strawberry puree is only briefly cooked to ensure the strawberries can blend smoothly. Jam also often has a textured consistency, meaning it isn’t always blended to be completely smooth. Some jams have some strawberry bits still in them.
Jam is also naturally used in a different way to strawberry puree. It is usually spread onto items like bread or crackers, whereas puree is mostly incorporated into other recipes or used as a topping.
Puree Vs Strawberry Sauce (or Syrup)
Strawberry sauce on the other hand has a much thinner consistency compared to strawberry puree. It also usually contains a lot more ingredients. You can make a cream-based strawberry sauce, or a chocolate strawberry sauce – the list goes on!
To make a sauce, the strawberries are also often cooked but they don’t have to be. Then, the berries are blended together with other ingredients, almost always strained, and used as a topping.
Strawberry syrups are a type of sauce that is made with sugar syrup. While it can vary in consistency, this sauce can be used as-is or as a flavoring in other recipes or beverages.
How To Puree Strawberries
To puree is extremely easy, especially with strawberries. What makes them unique is that you don’t have to cook them, although it does help create a smooth consistency.
Step 1: Prepare the strawberries
You should always wash your strawberries in clean running water before using them. Strawberries especially contain a lot of pesticides if they weren’t grown organically.
Next, you need to hull them. You can either use a special tool or simply remove the tops.
Step 2: Blend the strawberries
Place the strawberries inside a blender or food processor and blend until you have a smooth product.
Step 3: Cook the strawberries and add the additional ingredients
This step is optional, but we never skip it! Place the puree inside a pot, add your sugar and lemon juice, and simmer the puree for about 5-10 minutes. This will remove any excess moisture and help blend and even enhance the flavors of the ingredients.
Once fully cooked, remove the puree from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
Strawberry puree can be used in a ton of baked goods! First, it can be used as-is on cakes to help add and retain moisture or be used as a filling for cupcakes.
Then, naturally, there are a ton of strawberry puree recipes that uses it to add flavor without adding chunky textures. For example, the addition of puree to a vanilla cake batter creates a beautiful pink strawberry-flavored cake. The same goes for recipes like souffles, glazes, and even dough.
You can also add the puree to a frosting. Try adding some to our vegan buttercream frosting and use it to decorate pound cake, cupcakes, or fluffy angel food cake!
For savory recipes, the strawberry puree can be added to sauces, marinades, basting sauces, and dressings.
Are you as excited about strawberry puree as we are? Let us know in the comments below how you used this strawberry puree recipe at home or what other ingredients you like to add to your recipe!
- You should always wash your strawberries in clean running water before using them. Strawberries especially contain a lot of pesticides if they weren't grown organically.
- Next, you need to hull them. You can either use a special tool or simply remove the tops.
- Place the strawberries inside a blender or food processor and blend until you have a smooth product.
- This step is optional, but we never skip it! Place the puree inside a pot, add your sugar and lemon juice, and simmer the puree for about 5-10 minutes. This will remove any excess moisture and help blend and even enhance the flavors of the ingredients.
- Once fully cooked, remove the puree from the heat and allow it to cool completely.