On my birthday, my partner in crime and I biked to a nearby farm and picked 10 pounds of strawberries. As it was nearing the end of the season, the cashier was exuberant about the sheer amount of berries we’d rounded up.  Nothing like the doppelgänger fruit you see in your crappy supermarket chain, freshly picked strawberries have a strong, deep flavor almost akin to raspberries. Most of the berries we picked were small, so they lent themselves perfectly to the whole berry syrup I made for our pancakes.

You can of course just heat up strawberries and pour them in their juices over your pancakes, but I find that sauces like that just make for a soggy pancake. I also don’t like heavily sweetened fruit syrups. Standard recipes may call for up to a 1:1 ratio of cups of fruit to cups of sugar, but I feel like good strawberries are more than capable of standing on their own. One side effect of using less sugar is that the sauce doesn’t thicken as readily, since it’s mostly juice, so I use cornstarch to do the trick. This recipe works great for all kinds of fruits, by the way — try a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, or even sliced peaches or pineapple chunks.


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Whole Strawberry Sauce
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Cook time: 
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  • 3 c whole strawberries, tops removed
  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • ½ Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, toss strawberries with sugar.
  2. Gently press berries once with a potato masher to force out some of the juices.
  3. Cook, covered, on medium heat for 5 minutes or until bubbling.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water; pour mixture into pan and stir well to incorporate.
  5. Continue stirring, with lid off, until sauce thickens, approximately 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  7. Serve over pancakes or waffles or scones or shortcake or ice cream or whatever your heart desires! Drizzle the whole thing with a little maple syrup if you're feeling decadent.
The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools. For a thinner sauce, simply stir in a tablespoon of water at the end. For a more gelatinous sauce, dissolve another tablespoon of cornstarch in cold water and cook a few minutes more until thickened. Never add cornstarch directly to a hot liquid!