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How to Macerate Fruit and Add Big Flavor to Desserts

We all know small bites can pack big flavor, and in the case of macerated fruit, nothing could be more true.

If you're not familar with the technique, everything you need to know is right here! 

"Macerated" - sounds super technical and even a tad bit torturous, but let me assure you, maceration is quite simple and yields a pretty sweet result.

Here's the 411 on what maceration is, how to macerate fruit and why it will take your party desserts to a whole new level.

First things, first. What is macerating?

You might have made the connection already, but macerating sounds a lot like marinating, and the two ideas are pretty similar. The big difference is that you marinate meat and macerate fruit.

Now, how to macerate fruit.

Talk about easy! Whether you've got fresh or dried fruit on hand, all you do to macerate it is splash it with a liquid and allow it to sit. Typically, the liquid is either a liquor, vinegar or a syrup, and to get the best results you should let the fruit sit at least 30 minutes, but it's always better overnight.

While the fruit sits, it will absorb and soak up all that liquid (and any seasonings you've added to the mix) causing it to plump up in size, soften in texture and become infused with a ton of flavor. Pretty much, you get ultimate fruit flavor.

Does a sprinkle of sugar count as macerating?

Though you're not technically adding any liquid to the fruit, most chefs accept this as a maceration process since sugar will draw out the natural liquids in the fruit, combine with it and create a syrup. Know though, that this process won't garner as much moisture - which isn't neccesarily a bad thing for some recipe like tarts.

Give it a try. NOW.

Fruit can be macerated in anything from a sweet syrup to a smokey liquour to a spicy vinegar to fresh citrus juice. Add some seasoning to the mix - herbs, spices, natural sweetners - and you've got a palate satisfying, versatile ingredient to get creative with.

Nothing will amp up your party desserts more naturally or with such little preperation, and we guarantee guests will be impressed with the complexity of flavor in your dessert.

Try adding macerated fruits to recipes like:

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Fresh Meringue Pudding

Cherry Pie

Crumble Bars

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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