Berries made better: Macerating strawberries

Berries made better: Macerating strawberries

© Ingalls Photography / Bonnier © Ingalls Photography / Bonnier


The process called maceration softens fruit and imparts flavor, transforming even less-than-perfect berries and stone fruit into something worthy of dessert.

Though macerating typically involves soaking fruit in an acidic liquid such as liqueur, lemon juice, or vinegar, the liquid is not always necessary, particularly in the case of water-dense strawberries. At 92 percent water by weight, strawberries need nothing more than a generous sprinkle of sugar to macerate.

Sugar, which draws out the liquid from strawberries, forms a tight bond with the extracted water molecules. The result is a bowl of tender fruit swimming in a sweet syrup, the perfect accompaniment to a scoop of ice cream or a slice of cake, like the almond cheesecake in our Swedish Midsummer story.

The sugar also enhances the strength of the strawberries' natural pectin, resulting in a near jamlike consistency. In fact, this is how the process of jam making begins.

Of course, the macerated fruit is also delicious on its own. The longer the strawberries macerate, the richer and more intense their flavor becomes.

The addition of herbs, zest, and other flavorings can enhance the mixture's aromas. In the case of the cheesecake, mint adds a refreshing herbal note. Other welcome additions include citrus zest, crushed green cardamom, star anise, and vanilla bean.

See the recipe for Ostkaka med Färska Jordgubbar och Mynta (Almond Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries and Mint) »

© 2014 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2020 WNCONTENT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.