In most desserts, strawberries are used fresh. They’re not known for being a great baking berry, since they tend to lose their texture more than raspberries and blueberries do when they spend some time in the oven. But there are some benefits to letting your strawberries spend some time in the oven, which is why there are some delicious desserts that feature baked strawberries even though they’re not as popular as some other berries. When you roast strawberries, they become very tender and their flavor becomes more intense, as some of the water inside the berries evaporates, leaving the sweetness of the berries to become more concentrated.
Roasting strawberries is a quick and easy process that you can do simply by slicing up your berries and popping them into the oven. I like to toss them with a little bit of sugar before putting them into the oven. The sugar helps to draw out some of the excess liquid from the berries and also makes that liquid very tasty and sweet after the berries have roasted. The berries, once roasted, can be used to top ice cream or other desserts, and they can also be incorporated into some savory-sweet dishes, like this Roasted Strawberry Salsa.
The last thing you really need to know about roasting strawberries is that they should be used shortly after roasting. As they sit, you’ll notice that some of the color will start to leach out of the berries, along with their juice. The strawberries will look their very best within a few hours of roasting, though leftovers can be stored in the fridge as long as you don’t mind them looking picture-perfect the next day.
4-6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet (or line it with foil, lightly greased).
Cut strawberries in half or in quarters, depending on how large the berries are. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with sugar and vanilla.
Transfer berries to prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until berries are tender but still have some shape to them.
Allow to cool slightly before using. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 cups berries.