The Brilliant Technique You Need To Try With Strawberries This Summer

published Jun 18, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
someone holding a bowl of strawberries
Credit: Samantha Bolton

Summertime is very much strawberry time in my kitchen. Once berries are in season, I start throwing fresh berries into everything from my morning oatmeal to a pitcher of sangria. Much to my chagrin, however, berry season does not last as long as I wish it would. I’ve certainly found myself in the produce aisle of the supermarket in deep winter, more than once, staring at a package of off-season, not-sweet-enough berries with a long sigh.

That is, until I discovered Kelli’s roasted strawberry rhubarb shortcakes. It includes a berry technique that cures my winter berry woes: roasting. Kelli notes that roasting “softens rhubarb’s bite and makes ripe, juicy berries even better,” but what it also does is take less-than-perfect berries and give their flavor a boost and their texture a complete makeover. Here’s how to do it.

What Makes Roasting Berries So Good

Lovely, juicy ripe strawberries are perfect just as they are, no notes, but not all berries are created equal. Sometimes the strawberries you bring home are not quite sweet enough, or have a mealy or tough texture. A quick trip in the oven enhances the natural sugars present in the fruit. A brief roast at 425°F is enough to cook berries down. Even if they were overly hard, they come out of the oven soft and tender, ready to be incorporated into anything from a quick cake to a pancake breakfast. In her recipe, Kelli tosses 8 cups of fruit in 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with the zest of 1 lemon. The addition of sugar and lemon to the mix adds sweetness while also brightening up the whole mixture. While my favorite way to use this technique is on imperfect fruit, it also works wonders on juicy in-season berries, taking their already delicious flavor to the next level. You can also use this technique on any berry, not just strawberries!

How to Roast Berries

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. This is the ideal temperature for roasting produce. Unlike baking, roasting requires high heat to achieve a caramelized exterior and tender interior.
  2. Toss the fruit. Toss the fruit with 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup of berries. Add a bit of lemon zest if you want a little acidity, but it’s optional.
  3. Roast. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

How to Use Roasted Berries

Roasted berries are great to use in baked goods like, a skillet pancake or berry crumb bars. You can also use them as a topping for ice cream or yogurt, just like you would with fresh berries. 

Recipes to Try with Roasted Berries