Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries! If you want the best topping for yogurt, your new favorite topping for ice cream, and the best way to add flavor to a cocktail you need to find out how to macerate berries.
It’s Time You Learn How To Macerate
I know what you’re asking yourself. “Do I Need a food blog post to learn how to macerate? I thought I figured that out as a teenager?” Well that’s an entirely different thing and there are other sites on the internet to help you with that. No macerating is a fascinating process that softens fruit and draws out all of its flavors. Why would you want to do this? Well it creates the perfect toppings for a healthy yogurt parfait or, if you want to get a little naughty, the best way to add fruit to a cocktail.
Let’s Get In Our Time Machines
If you don’t have one I’ll let you use my TARDIS.
It’s bigger on the inside.
Let’s go back to high school biology to when we learned about osmosis. You remember that? It’s the process in which a liquid moves through a semi permeable membrane from a region of a higher concentration of a solute to a lower. What does that mean? You remember how on a lab day, the teacher would give us aa microscope and slide with cells on it and give us a solution of salt water. We’d then squirt some sodium on the cells and watch the cells “deflate”. Well that’s because the salty the liquid inside the cells (the all have it to some degree) wants to join the saltier liquid outside. Well guess what? It also works with sugar!
So, using the process of osmosis, you can draw out the sugars and flavors from the berries using nothing more simple sugar. The ratio is simple, it’s about 2 tablespoons of sugar to a pound. In this case, I wanted to macerate strawberries and I upscaled the recipe a bit and used 2 pounds of berries and a 1/4 cup of sugar, because strawberries are in season and it was 2 for 1 and the store. Macerating is actually a great way to preserve excess fruit. So if you find yourself buying 6 pounds of strawberries because they’re cheap AF, this is a great way to keep them in the fridge.
The smaller the pieces of fruit, the quicker the process. This happens because you break the outer protective cell walls of the berry and create more surface area for osmosis. If you’re doing strawberries, I recommend you hull and chop them. For blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., you can just lightly mash them with a fork or a potato masher. This is completely optional, either way maceration will happen it just might take a bit longer.
If your berries aren’t macerating, if you want to add a bit of kick to your fruit, or if you just want to help the process along a bit, you can add a teeny splash of booze. Grand Marnier is my liquor of choice for this, or if i’m doing blueberries, Blue Curacao does the trick. The alcohol and citric acid will enhance the flavors and do a little work as a preservative.
Now go out, get some fresh summer fruit, and get a macerating!