RECIPE: Strawberry Reduction

 

strawberry dream cake tagged

A couple of my most clever cake friends, let’s call them “Falyssa” and “Fesley,” have been telling me for ages to take a stab at making strawberry reduction to incorporate into my buttercream. Recently, Falyssa sat down with me (well. virtually) and walked me through exactly how she does this. With her permission, I am now sharing it with you (with a few minor tweaks that worked for me). Trust me, you NEED to make this.

I know strawberry filling made with fresh fruit is definitely preferable over using frozen fruit, but for this recipe I use whole frozen ones. (Fresh ones would obviously work, too!) The cool thing about this recipe is that you can throw it together even when you can’t get your hands on fresh berries, though, with the same fantastic results. Also, it’s super handy to make ‘spur of the moment’ when you can’t pop out to the grocery store because you have 6 cakes in the oven and you just remembered your filling on 2 of them was supposed to be strawberry, not the salted caramel that you’ve just made for the other 4.  #beenthere

I buy the 4 pound bag of strawberries, and just take out a couple handfuls (about 20 berries) at a time.

strawberries

STRAWBERRY REDUCTION

Preparation time:  2 – 3 minutes (grab a pan, open a bag, measure sugar)

Cooking time:  15 – 20 minutes

Yield:  2 cups (approximate)

INGREDIENTS

  • About 20 nice sized frozen strawberries
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

METHOD

Step 1:  Mix cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water.  I use a jar with a lid and shake.

Step 2:  Toss frozen strawberries, water mixture, lemon juice, and ½ cup sugar into a 10” – 12” pan on medium high heat.  Mix well and cook 2 or 3 minutes until berries begin to soften a bit.

strawberry 1 strawberry 3

Step 3:  Use back side and sharp end of spatula to chop and smash berries as they cook and thicken (keeping heat on medium  to medium high).

strawberry 33 strawberry 4

Step 4:  As berries continue to thicken, turn heat down to simmer and cook to desired consistency.

strawberry 6 strawberry 7

Once cooled, I fold it loosely (a lot of it, I’m not shy) into vanilla buttercream for cake filling. I also spread it directly onto my cakes sometimes in a “simple syrup” style – though it’s far closer to jam than syrup.

Speaking of syrup, this can be strained into a coulis and used for drizzle.

strained strawberry dream cake tagged

Also works well as a topping on ice cream, pancakes, toast, or fingers. Now prepare to make obscene noises as you go stuff your face.

Peek back in a day or two (or better yet, subscribe) and come see how I put together my cakes with strawberry buttercream.

Happy baking!

~ Peggy

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