Recipe: Strawberry Sauce

pancakes with strawberry sauce

It’s pretty rare that I want anything sweet for breakfast. French toast, pancakes, sugary cereals — forget it. I’m much happier with eggs, some bacon, maybe a bagel with lox. But occasionally, when I get a hankering for something sweet in the morning, there’s no stopping me.

Saturday morning arrived and I woke up craving a sweet, indulgent breakfast. It wasn’t looking promising though. We hadn’t been grocery shopping in about a week and a half, leaving only a couple eggs and some old strawberries as candidates for breakfast makings. But though the strawberries were a little smushy, a little dehydrated, and completely inedible as fresh fruit, they were perfect for strawberry sauce. Making a fruit sauce is a great thing to do if you have fruit on its last leg. Who cares how it looks or what the texture is like? Once you cook it down into a simple sauce, it won’t matter anyway.

Strawberry sauce is pretty quick to make, especially if the berries are a little old. Simply chop up the strawberries, and simmer them with water, sugar, a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Though strawberries are low in pectin (that natural stuff in fruit that helps gel jams and jellies), there’s just enough that the sauce won’t be overly runny. I used our strawberry sauce to douse a big batch of homemade pancakes. Try this recipe — it’s way better than anything you’ll get out of a box (and just as easy).

Strawberry Sauce

  • Strawberries, hulled and quartered or halved, depending on how chunky you want your sauce (the bigger the pieces raw, the bigger they’ll be in the sauce)
  • Water, enough to almost cover the top of the fruit when everything is placed in a sauce pan
  • ~1 tbsp granulated sugar for every cup of water (you can adjust this based on how sweet you want your sauce)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat. The sauce will begin reducing and will create a light foam. This should be skimmed off the top if you want your sauce to look perfectly clear (if you don’t care or are pressed for time, don’t worry about it — these solids will re-distribute back into the sauce and won’t hurt anything). Once the fruit starts breaking down, taste the sauce. If you want it sweeter, add in a bit more sugar. Continue simmering until the sauce reduces and is at the desired consistency. Pour over ice cream, pancakes, French toast, or oatmeal.

If you want your sauce to be very smooth, you can blend the chunky version in a blender or food processor, then strain it.

Also, tip: If you want to extend the life of your berries so that they won’t mold as quickly, you must check out this article on rinsing the fruit in hot water before storing. I’ve used this technique all summer with amazing results. In fact, the strawberries I used for this sauce were, embarrassingly enough, 10 days old but with no mold on them.