How to Macerate Fruit

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Macerating fruit means to marinate it in a flavorful liquid. Like marinades need acid, you must use sugar when you macerate fruit. During maceration, the sugar acts as a catalyst to draw liquid through the cell walls of the fruit. Start with a flavorful liquid, add herbs and spices in their fresh form, and finish by taste testing for a successful maceration each time.

How to Macerate Fruit
(Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Knife, optional
  • Nonreactive bowl
  • Flavorful liquid, such as liqueur, vinegar or citrus juice
Step 1

Remove the seeds and stems from the fruit and peel tough skins. Slice or chop any fruit you don't want to macerate whole.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media
Step 2

Place the fruit in a nonreactive glass or stainless-steel bowl and sprinkle sugar over the top. Use 2 tablespoons of sugar per cup of fruit for light sweetness and 4 tablespoons per cup for heavy sweetness. Cover the fruit with a flavorful liquid, such as liqueur, dark liquor, wine or vinegar.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media
Step 3

Add secondary flavoring ingredients, if desired, which can range from subtle vanilla to pungent smoked paprika. Other options include fresh herbs, citrus zest and whole spices.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media
Step 4

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Macerate soft fruit, such as bananas, at room temperature for about 30 minutes; denser varieties such as apples take 2 hours or longer per cup. Keep the fruit in the refrigerator for longer maceration times. Taste the fruit after macerating it and add more liquid, if needed, to achieve the desired result.

Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media

References

  • The Professional Chef 9th ed.; The Culinary Institute of America
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