“Macerate” is a deceptive term. It sounds complex, even frightening. You want to do WHAT to my precious, precious strawberries?!
It’s all just fancy talk for sweetening the berries. And it’s so easy to do that it seems like the name was conjured up just to sound brainy and labor-intensive. I imagine the word’s invention going something like this: “Sorry, Mabel, but I can’t help you shave your back today. I’ve got to…uh, macerate strawberries. What’s that? You’ve never heard of macerating before? Well, it’s a lot of work. Probably going to take me all day, maybe two.”
For those of you SAT all-stars, you probably already know it means “to soften or separate into parts by steeping in a liquid.” (Don’t read those other definitions; they’ll only gross you out more.) And that’s essentially what we’re doing, only we’re letting the berries’ own juices break ’em down.
Here’s what it involves:
- Wash and quarter the strawberries, removing all stems.
- Place them in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar per pound of strawberries. Let them sit for 30-45 minutes at room temperature, until the juices are released. You can keep them covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. After that, they start breaking down more, getting soggy and less than appetizing.
This technique works for any kind of berry, by the way!