How to macerate strawberries with sugar and vanilla. Serve the strawberries with whipped cream.
How to macerate strawberries?
A dessert made in heaven: simple macerated strawberries and whipped cream! I think I would have a hard time finding anybody who would say no that!
Why macerate them?
How many times do we see these beautiful, ruby red strawberries, that just seem to perfect to be true? We buy them, wash them, put them in our mouth full of expectation, and just think “Yuck!!!”. They are watery, rather sour, actually don’t really have any taste at all. No flavor, no nothing!
Unfortunately, this is something happening quite often. I’d rather wait until the season in Germany begins and stick to the strawberries that grow in my mother-in-law’s garden, but every year, I do get fooled by some of those early ones coming from Spain.
Sometimes nothing really grows in my mother-in-law’s garden and sometimes even the more expensive German strawberries don’t hold their promise.
Actually, finding strawberries that taste like they are supposed to, can be quite challenging sometimes. And what to do if you did buy some of those perfect looking yet tasteless strawberries? Well, the easiest answer is: macerate them.
What is maceration?
When it comes to food, maceration is breaking and softening of a product using a liquid. In the case of strawberries (or other berries), maceration means sprinkling the strawberries with some sugar to help them release their own juices, improve their taste and their texture if they are underripe.
The most common way to macerate strawberries is to sprinkle them with sugar and leave them to sit for at least half an hour. A rather thick juice, almost like a syrup will form during this period of time and the sugar will penetrate the berries helping them release their own aroma, making them softer and increasing their flavor.
Other ways of macerating strawberries or other berries or fruit are to soak them in alcohol, for instance, some sweet liquors, juice, or some good tasting vinegar, something like good quality balsamic vinegar.
How to do it?
- Wash and hull the berries.
- Halve or quarter them, depending on their size, and place them in a bowl.
- Sprinkle with sugar, add some vanilla extract or vanilla sugar to taste, toss well and let stand for at least 30 minutes, until the juice is formed.
- Stir again and serve with whipped cream or as suggested above.
Strawberries and Cream
I found this recipe for macerated strawberries on Rosa’s blog For the Love of Italian Cooking. If you have followed my blog for a while, you might have read this post about Rosa’s Ultimate Homemade Meat Sauce for Pasta where I talked about Rosa, a wonderful woman, and mother of three young boys, who died at the beginning of March in an act of domestic violence.
I met Rosa through our blogs and despite the fact that we have never actually met in person, we have developed quite a nice friendship through the internet and the telephone. As we both lived in Germany, we had planned to meet in the near future, but unfortunately, bad fate got in the way.
I really miss Rosa, I still think sometimes, that I should write an email again, and then I remember I cannot. I see her tiny picture and her last messages in WhatsApp and my heart breaks.
How to serve?
- You can have them as they are, just plain and eaten with a spoon to make sure you get all those juices as well.
- Otherwise, serve them with whipped cream or – the way my son likes them – with pourable heavy cream that hasn’t been whipped.
- You can serve them over Greek yogurt, strained yogurt (my favorite version), quark, or ice cream.
- Serve on top of pancakes, crepes, waffles, or with a slice of the 2-ingredient cake (or any cake).
More strawberry recipes:
- 1 lb strawberries 500 g
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar to taste
- some vanilla extract or vanilla sugar optional
- 1 cup heavy cream 250 ml, to serve, optional
- Prepare strawberries: Wash and hull the strawberries. Halve or quarter them, depending on their size and place them in a bowl.
- Sprinkle with sugar, add some vanilla extract or vanilla sugar to taste, toss well and let stand for at least 30 minutes until the juice is formed. Stir again.
- Whip the heavy cream and serve over the macerated strawberries.