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I’m really excited to be posting this Homemade Strawberry syrup recipe. It’s simple, but so good. If you’ve read my About the Author page, you know I love sauces. Sweet sauces, savory sauces, sweet sauces on savory dishes. They’re a perfect finishing touch.
I actually remember the first fruit sauce I ever made. It was a raspberry sauce, poured over vanilla ice cream for my Grandma’s birthday. As a young preteen, I felt quite accomplished! Many years later, a fruit sauce of any kind is actually very simple, I’m quite comfy whipping one up. You should be too!
This homemade strawberry syrup recipe was inspired by that memory, because to this day I remember how delicious that sauce was over ice cream. But you’ll be pouring this strawberry version over anything you can think of, it’s just that good.
Here in California, especially where I’m at in the bay area, I’m within a 5 minute drive to at least five fresh strawberry stands. They’re everywhere. I grew up walking to the one around the corner from my childhood home and buying them by the flat. It’s a habit I can’t seem to break, so I always have WAY more strawberries than we can reasonably eat when the season strikes.
Thankfully, they’re an extremely versatile fruit. They freeze well, puree well, bake well, and, you guessed it, cook down into a lovely syrup.
With the unique flavor and addictive sweetness of this little berry, you can imagine how many ways you can use this strawberry syrup recipe. Anything you like with strawberries, this syrup can go on. Pancakes, french toast, ice cream, sponge cake, cheesecake, chocolate anything, the list goes on and on! My Rosemary Olive Oil Cake and Deep Fried Cheesecake Bites are two of my favorite recipes to use it on, so check those out if you need inspiration. Or just eat it right of the spoon, no judgment here, I promise.
The Strawberry Syrup Recipe
To begin you’ll only need 4 simple ingredients: Strawberries, water, sugar, and lemon. Technically, the syrup recipe will work without the lemon, but I personally recommend you include it. It’s needed to balance out the sweetness of the sugar and strawberries.
The Blender Method (AKA quick method)
Lately, with a very active 6 month old in my house, where I choose to spend my time is more critical than ever. Don’t get me wrong, if I want to make some of my Bacon Farro Risotto, I will stand next to the stove stirring it to perfection. Buuuut, not all recipes that can take a lot of time actually need to.
Here’s the thing, if you have a blender or food processor, you can dramatically cut down the time this recipe takes. The end result tastes just as good. The color is a little less clear, but it’s a very minute difference.
To use the blender method hull your strawberries first. To hull a strawberry, carefully grasp a paring knife near the tip of its blade. Insert in into the crown of the strawberry, with the tip downward toward the center, and spin the blade around the stem. The core should pop right out.
If you aren’t feeling that confident with your knife, I find the small side of my melon baller does the trick perfectly too.
Place the berries and the water into your blender and let them puree completely. This took about a minute in my Ninja Blender. Once pureed, set a fine meshed sieve over a medium saucepan and pour in the juice. You want something fine enough to catch the seeds. This is the sieve set I use constantly.
Once you’ve strained out all the solids, turn your burner on to medium heat and add your sugar and lemon juice. Stir occasionally until the sugar melts. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it bubble and thicken until it will cling to the back of a spoon without running off for 30 seconds. This took about 10 minutes start to finish for me.
Pour your strawberry syrup into a clean jar, let cool, then seal and place in the fridge to store.
The No Blend, Rustic Method
If you don’t have a blender, or if perhaps you want a syrup with little nuggets of strawberry, this is a great method for you. Instead of blending, hull and chop your strawberries into little chunks. Toss them into the pan with the sugar, lemon juice and water.
Bring the whole mixture to a boil then reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 1 hour, I know this sounds like a long time, and that’s why I provided the blender method. Despite the time needed for this method, it doesn’t require direct attention for the whole hour. Just stir occasionally, until the berries have broken down into a thick strawberry slurry. It’s almost like a loose jam consistency.
It’s totally delicious to eat the strawberry sauce a little rustic and chunky, feel free to stop at this point. For an elegant, clear syrup pour the cooked strawberry through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. This will take some coaxing from you, unless you’re the most patient person on the planet. Use a spoon to push the sauce around in the sieve to encourage the liquid to drain, pressing down from time to time.
Occasionally scrape the bottom of the sieve with your spoon to clear off the collected syrup and continue to push and strain until the syrup stops dripping. This should produce at least 3/4 of a cup, perhaps a bit more depending on your willingness to stand there and your elbow stamina.
Using Frozen Berries
If you don’t have fresh strawberries at hand, but you’re dying to make this strawberry syrup recipe, good quality frozen strawberries will absolutely work. I freeze my excess berries and definitely use them to make this recipe all the time.
For the Blender Method: Puree the frozen berries with the water. Pour the puree into the pan and heat until the puree is very loose and liquid. Strain the puree and return to the pot (wipe it clean to get out any seeds clinging to the side). Proceed with the method as usual.
For the No Blend Method: Chop up the frozen berries best you can and proceed with the method as usual.
Once done, you will have a beautiful syrup that is a good balance of the natural sweetness of strawberries with just a touch of lemony tartness. It lasts in the fridge for two weeks.
This is one my favorite ways to use up berries that are reaching the end of their fridge life. You know, those ones that are decadently sweet but maybe started to lose their bright red color, or have a mild bruise somewhere. Just because you don’t want to eat them whole, doesn’t mean you can’t use them!
Even better is that you can very easily adapt this recipe to other berries and fruits! Raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach…really the options are unlimited! I hope you enjoy this strawberry syrup recipe, and are inspired to play with substituting your favorite fruits. As always, Happy Eating!
- 12 oz strawberries about 15 average strawberries*
- 4 oz granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 4 oz water 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Hull 12 oz of strawberries.* Add to blender with water. Blend until very smooth puree.
Strain puree through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan. Turn on heat to medium. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely.
Bring to a gentle boil and stir occasionally until syrup is thickened and coats the back of a spoon without running off. About 10 minutes from the time you put on the heat to finish.
Allow to cool, pour into airtight container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.
Rustic/No Blend Method
Dice 12 oz of strawberries, about 15 medium strawberries, and add to a saucepan over medium heat.
Add sugar, lemon juice, and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.
Allow to simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
After 1 hour, strain pulp from syrup by pouring through a fine sieve into a heat safe bowl. Use a spoon to push and press gently on the strawberry to encourage draining. Occasionally scrape the bottom.*
When finished draining, allow to cool. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Originally published 9/11/2017, updated and revised 5/4/2019