Now that we’re at the end of strawberry season, I’ve got extra strawberries to use up. Typically, I freeze any overripe fruits to blend into ice-cold smoothies. But last week, I made a strawberry compote to enjoy with this Mini Cheesecakes recipe. Whether it’s cake, ice cream, or any other dessert, I always think it’s better with a freshly-made fruit compote.
For a vibrant, mouthwatering compote, pick strawberries that are slightly overripe and deep-red colored. Overripe strawberries are sweeter and break down easier when cooking in the heat, making it the perfect texture for a delicious compote.
If your local market or grocery store has a variety of strawberries, look for these:
- Hood strawberries – Hood strawberries are known for their juicy and exceptionally sweet flavors and have a deep red color. These species are only available for 2 to 3 weeks during the berry season.
- Seascape strawberries – Bright-red seascape strawberries are available for a longer time since they are adaptable in most climates. Almost as sweet as the Hood, which makes it acceptable for compotes.
- Chandler strawberries – Another deep-red variety of strawberries that is large, juicy, and sweet. These are large and high-yielding, which means you can use fewer strawberries to get the same amount of compote!
This delicious strawberry compote recipe uses 3 ingredients.
- Strawberries – Hulled and diced small.
- Pro Tip: After you have hulled your strawberries, don’t discard them just yet. Minimize wastage: compost them or reuse them to infuse water, as a garnish for your gin, or to flavor your brewing kombucha at home.
- Granulated sugar – This is no doubt the best type of sugar for compote, but if you have health concerns, you can opt for brown sugar.
- Fresh lemon juice – Since we’re making fresh compote, why not go all the way and use freshly squeezed lemon juice? They’re a hundred times better than the bottled kind.
These strawberry compote ingredients are also core ingredients used in my Strawberry Galette & Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie. All excellent choices for strawberry season!
How To Make Strawberry Compote
This simple strawberry compote only has 3 easy steps – yup, that’s it. So easy you can probably learn it by heart.
Step 1: Stir diced strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a simmer.
Step 2: Continue at a low simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not burn.
Step 3: Remove from the heat and cool. Serve chilled.
- Pro Tip: Allow the compote to cool down slightly before you give it a taste. If needed, adjust the flavor by adding sugar for more sweetness or squeezing extra lemon juice for more tartness.
How To Use Strawberry Compote
This strawberry compote is extremely versatile and can act as a yummy topping on various dishes. Its sweet tartness complements desserts like strawberry cheesecake cookies, vanilla ice cream, custard, scones and whipped cream, parfaits, and cheesecakes. At breakfast, strawberry compote can substitute jam and go onto bread, biscuits, or yogurt. You can even serve a spoonful of strawberry compote to complement red meat dishes like lamb or beef.
I use The Best Strawberry Jam Recipe on more breads and biscuits than strawberry compote. Although they are very similar.
Make tiny adjustments to your recipe to come up with vastly different flavor profiles:
- Strawberry mint compote – Rinse mint leaves and add them to the sauce pot, whole or finely chopped. The fresh aroma of mint will give this compote a sophisticated touch.
- Spiced strawberry compote – Use cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom to bring some warmth and depth of flavor to the strawberry compote.
- Vanilla strawberry compote – Scrape a half teaspoon of vanilla beans or vanilla extract into the compote for a sweet, floral scent that tastes like heaven with desserts.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out new flavor combinations!
Frequently Asked Questions
Compote and jam are not the same, although they are quite similar. When you look at the consistency of compote, it has more fruit chunks, it’s thicker and less spreadable than jam. Also, because compote has lower sugar content, this means it doesn’t last as long as jam which has more preservatives. Compotes last about 2 weeks whereas jam lasts for months.
To thicken your strawberry compote, you can add pectin, which is a natural starch found in plant cells. If using powdered pectin, combine it with the strawberries before adding sugar. If using liquid pectin, combine it with the strawberry mixture after it has been heated.
I’ve tried using store-bought frozen strawberries to make this compote, and while it worked, it was a bit of a challenge not knowing how sweet the strawberries would be. Unless you are freezing any overripe strawberries at home that you aren’t ready to use yet, I would not recommend frozen strawberries for compote. They just don’t taste the same!
Picking strawberries is a fun outing for couples and families with kids! I always love to go, that’s where I get the best berries of the season. Here is an article that lists some of the best strawberry picking farms near Chicago.
Freezing & Storage Instructions
Strawberry compote is usually served and eaten right away. However, if you have leftovers, or if you’re making this recipe in advance, you can store this compote in the refrigerator.
Allow the strawberry compote to cool completely. Then, transfer it to an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to a month. Enjoy chilled or warmed up!
- 1 medium sauce pot
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 pint strawberries hulled and small dice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Stir strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a medium sauce pot then bring to a simmer
- Continue at a low simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not burn
- Remove from the heat and cool. Serve chilled
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