Macerating Fruit

Macerate: verb. soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid.

When macerating fresh fruit, often you will just add sugar and a little salt and then let it sit. The salt and sugar will draw out the juices of the fruit and break down the tissue slightly, creating a soft fruit sauce- no added liquid necessary!  

There are a few reasons you might use this technique.

1. Softening dried fruit by soaking in flavorful liquid, like vinegar (for a salad dressing), wine, or other alcohol or juice.

2. Breaking down stringent fruit before baking or serving, to change the feel and presentation of the fruit or draw out more flavors. I find macerated strawberries to be much more flavorful than fresh.

Here's how it's done.

Start with fresh fruit, chopped up, and have the recipe amount of sugar and salt at the ready.

Start with fresh fruit, chopped up, and have the recipe amount of sugar and salt at the ready.

Sprinkle the recipe amount of salt over the fruit. You can use a measuring spoon. I'm a rebel.

Sprinkle the recipe amount of salt over the fruit. You can use a measuring spoon. I'm a rebel.

Add the sugar and stir the fruit together well.

Add the sugar and stir the fruit together well.

Right now it will look pretty dry and grainy. Don't worry! Cover the fruit well with plastic wrap and set it aside to chill. Soon magical things will happen.

Right now it will look pretty dry and grainy. Don't worry! Cover the fruit well with plastic wrap and set it aside to chill. Soon magical things will happen.

Magic! The fruit has released it's delicious juices and is fully macerated.

Magic! The fruit has released it's delicious juices and is fully macerated.