How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar

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Do you know how to macerate fruit? Have no clue to what I’m even talking about? Think of macerating to fruit as marinating is to meat. The fruit basically sits in sweetener or liquid for a time to take on a different flavor(s) and often softens (becomes more tender). If you’ve ever had fruit, strawberries being one of the most common, that were in their own sweet juices that was slightly thickened and almost syrupy or had a secondary flavor like mint or liquor, it likely was macerated. There are basically 2 ways to macerate fruit: one with sugar, and the other with a liquid.

How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar

The “culinary elite” likely wouldn’t even refer to macerating fruit with sugar as true macerating since it doesn’t start with a liquid. Technically, the sugar does draw out some of the liquid from the fruit that it then soaks in, though. Plus, I’ve personally never seen this method called anything else, so we’ll stick with it. 😉 Today, since it’s summer and fresh berries are in season for shortcakes, ice cream and the like, we’re going to stick with the simple method of how to macerate fruit with sugar. The basic recipe is pretty simple. You’ll need fruit, sugar and a proper container. I love these 7-cup Rubbermaid containers so I can just toss everything together.

How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar

Oh, and if you need motivation for why one would want to take the time to macerate fruit? Well, it’s so you can make delightfully yummy things like this…

 How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar

Don’t forget to wipe the drool off your keyboard or phone. 😉 Onto the recipe! And yes the recipe for the above will be coming soon. 🙂

How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar
Basic sugar maceration of fruit is easy and tasty, but can be easily taken to the next level with other added flavors (see notes for ideas!).
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Fruit

  • Fruit of choice (I usually use a minimum of 2 lbs)
  • Sugar (I use about ⅓ cup per 2 lbs of fruit)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional; about 1 Tablespoon per 2 lbs fruit)

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry fruit.
  2. Small berries like raspberries can be kept whole, but if using larger fruits or berries like peaches or strawberries, slice or cut them into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place prepared fruit into a large enough non-reactive bowl (plastic, glass) so that there is still room to toss the fruit around.
  4. Sprinkle sugar over the top of fruit and add lemon juice, if desired. I very rarely use it myself.
  5. Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and toss/shake the bowl so that fruit becomes evenly coated in sugar.
  6. Let fruit sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to start macerating (or have sugar syrup form) and then place in the refrigerator until serving. Results are best when allowed to sit over night or even a day or 2. I always shake the container a bit more whenever I open the fridge for something.
  7. Refrigerate covered leftovers.

 Check back soon for our strawberry shortcake recipe if you enjoyed this post on How to Macerate Fruit with Sugar!

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