Macerating is just a posh word for softening ingredients with liquid, in this case sprinkling sugar on fresh fruit so that it breaks down the fruit, helps to release its liquid and combines with the sugar to form a natural syrup. It brings out the best in any soft fruit.
How to Macerate Strawberries
1. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries.
2. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with caster sugar.
3. Leave the fruit to macerate for 20 minutes to an hour. Don’t leave them longer or the fruit will become soft (though it will still be good to eat).
How does the macerating process work with fruit?
The macerating process draws out the liquid from the strawberries and the pectin-rich juices mix with the sugar and form a natural syrup.
Flavouring the syrup
Add a few drops of vanilla extract, rose extract or orange flower water to the caster sugar.
Quick Strawberry Eton Mess recipe
You can also use the macerated fruit to make a quick Eton Mess: crush meringues (buy them in the supermarket to save time), spoon over the strawberries with some of the syrup and top with sweetened whipped cream (just stir in a little icing sugar to the cream after whipping). Or see our Eton Mess recipe here.
Serve the macerated fruit wth our Madeira Cake recipe.
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