In the world of cooking, very few things are more convenient than multi-taskers. I hate random machines that take up cabinet space and ingredients that only serve one purpose in my refrigerator. This strawberry syrup recipe is one of the greatest things since sliced bread. It can be used to flavor milk, milkshakes, sodas, teas, lemonades, and the list goes on. It’s also pretty simple to make.
Strawberry syrup is created by simmering strawberries in near boiling water. The main principle at work in this scenario is osmosis. The solution of strawberries in water is hypotonic. This means that the concentration of solutes in the water is less that the concentration of solutes in the strawberries. The water moves into the strawberry via osmosis, while the sugar and flavoring compounds in strawberries move out of the strawberry via diffusion. This process continues until the water and strawberry system is in equilibrium.
If sugar were added at the beginning of the recipe, the strawberry syrup would not properly form. This is because the sugar would make the solution hypertonic. The strawberries in this scenario would lose their water via osmosis causing the strawberry to shrink/compact. The end result is a shrunken, tough wall protecting the cells in the strawberries, which preserve the shape of the strawberry and keeping the juices inside of the strawberry.
1 lb strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 ½ water
- Place strawberries into a heavy saucepan, add water, and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to low, and simmer until strawberries soften, about 15 minutes.
- Strain juice into a separate saucepan, using a fine mesh strainer; discard strawberry pulp. Stir in sugar until dissolves. Bring strawberry juice back to a boil a second time.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Skim any foam from the top of the syrup. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Pour syrup into a lidded container and refrigerate.