How to Macerate Fruit in Balsamic Vinegar
With just a few simple steps, fresh fruit is turned into a flavorful, saucy, sophisticated treat. Macerated fruit makes for a wonderful treat on its own, and even better when served with yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, crumbled biscotti and more. Easily control the sugar content to your taste or dietary needs.
A Few Suggestion Flavor Combinations:
Strawberries – Chocolate di Torino, Tuscan Strawberry, Sicilian Lemon
Nectarines – Honeybell Orange, Raspberry, Peach
Mixed Berries – Cranberry Pear, Vanilla, Estilo Affinato
Here’s the gist:
- Pick some fresh fruit. Sliced strawberries are a popular for maceration but blueberries, blackberries, nectarines, peaches, cherries, and rhubarb are also great choices!
- Cut fruit into bite sized pieces. Sliced fruit will absorb the flavors of the maceration liquid better than intact fruit. Consider mashing a bit of fruit into your maceration liquid – especially if you are using berries exclusively.
- Choose your macerating liquid. Essentially, you are looking apply acid and sugar to the fruit in order to develop (soften) its texture and enhance flavor. Fruit liquors or even lemon juice and sugar may be used here but we love to use balsamic vinegar! Dark balsamic will provide a deeper, more syrupy flavor while white balsamics add a brighter, tangier flavor. You may choose to add some additional sugar, honey, or other sweetener but that is subject to taste.
- (Optional) Seasoning – Fresh herbs, black peppercorns, and bright citrus zest are just of a few of the many additional seasonings you can use the flavor your fruit if desired. But feel free to keep it simple and omit this extra step - the fruit will be delicious on its own!
- Steep Your Fruit. Allow the fruit to steep in the macerating liquid for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Macerating time will vary depending on the fruit you choose and its ripeness as well as your desired final texture. Softer/very ripe fruit will break down faster to create a soupier final product. For a firmer texture, choose firmer fruit and use a shorter steep time.
For more information on the science behind this process, check out: The Science of Maceration
You do not need a recipe to make macerated fruit! Trust your taste buds and do a little experimentation. But here are a few recipes to serve as examples 😊
Yogurt Cups with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries
Balsamic Macerated Berries and Fruit
Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Marscapone Cream