A quick and simple Strawberry Compote with a hint of orange is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, and even ice cream. All you need are a few ingredients and 10 minutes to make this delicious strawberry sauce.
Strawberry season is here, and fresh juicy strawberries rarely ever make it to the next day. So if you’ve been meaning to take your breakfast pancakes to the next level with a delicious strawberry sauce, be sure to buy extra berries for this specific task.
How to make Strawberry Compote
Strawberry compote ingredients
- Strawberries – fresh strawberries are the main ingredient of this recipe. Choose berries with deep red color, and strong aroma for the best flavor. However, if you are making this compote outside of strawberry season, frozen berries will work.
- Orange zest – to keep the flavor bright, but the orange flavor won’t be noticeable. You can also use lemon zest.
- Orange juice – the acidity in orange juice helps preserve the bright color of the cooked strawberries and it also adds a boost of natural pectin in the mixture. You can substitute lemon juice to pair with lemon zest, if using.
- Sugar – I use just two tablespoons of sugar to sweeten, but you can add more sugar to taste especially if you use lemon juice instead of orange juice.
- Salt – just a pinch is needed to enhance the flavor of the compote.
Cooking the strawberries
Making this strawberry compote recipe is super simple. All you need to do is stir all the ingredients together and cook it over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the fruits are softened and the mixture thickens slightly.
If you are using frozen berries, the cooking time may need to be longer as frozen berries release more water and will take longer to reduce and thicken.
How do you thicken strawberry sauce?
Strawberries contain a small amount of natural pectin, which helps things gel together. So do orange and lemon. In this recipe, the compote is thickened naturally from the available pectin in the strawberries and orange juice, and from reducing the cooking liquid just enough.
With that being said, this compote is not thick like jam. It is spoonable, pourable, and saucy, perfect for spooning on top of all sorts of summer treats.
- While cooking, if you see that the berries are starting to disintegrate and there is still a lot of juice, you can remove some or all of the fruits, keep cooking to reduce the juice down, then add the fruits back in to keep pieces of fruits intact.
- Note that the strawberry compote will continue to thicken as it cools.
Store your homemade strawberry sauce in a clean jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You can also freeze the compote to keep it for even longer. Divide the batch into smaller portions before freezing so you only need to defrost as much as you’re going to use. The easiest way is to use an ice cube tray to freeze the sauce solid, then pop them out and store the cubes in a freezer bag.
Is this recipe appropriate for canning?
This strawberry compote recipe is not made for canning, the sugar content is too low.
Endless ways to serve strawberry sauce
- Use it as a filling for hand pies in this Strawberry Hand Pies recipe.
- Serve it instead of fresh berries in this Strawberry Shortcake recipe.
- Use it as a topping for this Strawberry Dump Cake, scones, biscuits, and more.
- Take brunch to the next level by serving it with Banana Bread French Toast or a Lemon Dutch Baby.
- Mix it in with Chia Pudding, yogurt, or cottage cheese for a quick snack.
- Serve it with Ice Cream Pie.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Strawberry Compote (Strawberry Sauce)
- 1 pound strawberries
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (from ½ an orange)
- 3 - 4 tablespoon orange juice (from ½ an orange)
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries.
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes stirring frequently until some of the berries disintegrate and some remain whole but soft, and the sauce thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool, the sauce will thicken more as it cools down.
- Transfer to jars and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
- Frozen strawberries can be used instead of fresh strawberries.
- Increase cooking time if using frozen berries since they will release extra liquid.
- Lemon juice and lemon zest can be used in place of orange.
- Increase the amount of sugar to your taste or if using lemon juice.
This post was originally published on 4/30/2018. The post has been updated and republished on 5/11/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips, and a video to help you in the kitchen.