Happy first day of Spring! We're going to be celebrating here with snow. Lots of snow! But even with all the wintery craziness still going on (and who isn't just DONE with winter for this year....), it seems like the perfect time to cook up one of our earliest springtime traditions - Fresh Strawberry Sauce & Syrup!
The fresh early strawberries are absolutely huge, red and fabulous this year, so I'm ready to kick off strawberry season early. So many times the berries are white or green at the ends, hard and not too flavorful this early in the year, but the baskets of fresh strawberries I've picked up over the past few weeks have been sweet, juicy and so flavorful.
Four simple ingredients and a saucepan, and you've got everything you need! Fresh ripe strawberries, sugar, a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice, and a spoonful of pure vanilla extract. Lime juice you say? Yup, its good in a margarita - you'll be amazed! And why in the world would I add vanilla? It's my secret ingredient that just adds something so special to the flavor, you'll never make fresh fruit syrup without it again!
Chop those berries, give them a rinse in cool water, sprinkle 'em with sugar, the fresh citrus juice and vanilla, and let them happily simmer until softened - about 15 minutes is all it takes! If you like your fresh strawberry sauce chunky, simply let it cool and you're ready to go. For the world's best fresh strawberry syrup, simply strain the sauce thru a fine mesh strainer, and you'll have the most beautiful bright red strawberry syrup!
Make sure that you keep all those fruity strawberry chunks and pieces from the mesh strainer - we're going to be adding that to ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and cream cheese. The fresh strawberry flavor is out-of-this-world wonderful!
And whether you love Fresh Strawberry Sauce or Fresh Strawberry Syrup, you're going to love either one drizzled on pancakes, waffles or French Toast for a delicious breakfast, or spooned on fresh cheesecake or ice cream for a late-night treat. And I can't begin to tell you what happens when you add this to buttercream frosting - the pinkest, prettiest fresh strawberry buttercream frosting EVER!
Once you know how easy it is to make homemade Fresh Strawberry Sauce & Syrup, and how fabulously fresh and wonderful it tastes, you'll never buy store-brand strawberry sauces again. This stuff is seriously to die for!
Previously posted June 2012; re-photographed and re-posted March 2018.