Compote or Puree?
What’s the difference?
Well, they are pretty much the same thing, but to put it simply: one is pureed and the other one is not.
Why would you use one over the other?
Well, it depends what you are making.
Fruit compotes like my black cherry compote is the perfect filling for my black forest cake.
Compotes are chunky, they are chock full of fruit and can even be served with toast or scones for a breakfast treat instead of jelly!
Try a heaping spoonful of warm compote over vanilla ice cream….you will be in la la land for sure!
Purees are used for a variety of different recipes; for example in its most basic form it is added to smoothies and for fancy cocktails.
Adding fruit purees to sorbets and vanilla ice cream base is a no brainer.
Add to a simple syrup for a fruity infused layer cake.
But for me, the ultimate best best best is using a freshly made puree in a fruit based chiffon cake.
To Cook? Or not to Cook? That is the question!
I’m a cooker when it comes to making puree. It’s the way I was taught in school and in all of my many jobs thereafter.
Many of the strawberry puree recipes I’ve seen though, are directing you to just mash or blend the berries in a blender and then you are done.
There is nothing wrong with this method for a quick easy puree; but I find that cooking the strawberries over a low heat with a small amount of sugar for just about 25 – 30 minutes really helps to break down those fibers in the fruit while promoting maximum liquids to be extracted.
Especially when your intention is to use this puree in a cake recipe, I will advise to implement the cooking method. When using purees in cake recipes, it is important to get some of that excess liquid a bit more concentrated and slow cooking is the way to do it.
I should add that ANY FRUIT IS APPROPRIATE FOR MAKING INTO PUREE, so this is a base recipe, or rather guide to pureéing fruit since there is no real recipe other than:
Taste your fruit. Does it need sugar? Yes? Add sugar. No. Don’t add sugar.
Frozen berries typically do not, since the thawing will create excess water
Sugar is not a necessary ingredient and one that should be adjusted based on the fruit being used and your personal preference
- 2 Lbs Fresh Strawberries (Or fruit of choice)
- Granulated Sugar 0 - ¼ cup
- Cook the berries with optional sugar over a low heat from approximately 30 minutes or until fruit is breaking down.
- Add water only if the fruit seems dry and starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Puree with a stick hand blender or in a food processor or regular blender
Freeze for longer storage up to 6 months
If you are using frozen fruits, which by the way I think is fabulous since frozen fruits in my opinion can tend to be better tasting at times than fresh fruits!
But be aware that frozen fruits will give extra water on the thaw so you may have to increase the cooking time to evaporate off more of that moisture.
Other wise everything else is the same
BONUS FROZEN STRAWBERRY MINT MOJITO COCKTAILS!
- Strawberry Puree 2 cups (480ml)
- Fresh Mint 20 leaves
- Malibu Coconut Rum ¾ cup (190ml)
- Ice Cubes 4 cups
- Simple Syrup ¼ cup
- Place all ingredients in a blender until you have a frosty frappe drink!