The traditional method of maceration – soaking fruit in liquid to soften and/or flavour it – takes many hours. For much faster results, place the fruit and the liquid under vacuum. This method only takes a few seconds, it requires less liquid than traditional maceration and it intensifies the flavour of both the strawberries and the liquid.
- 250g of strawberries, halved
- 50ml of sweet white wine
- Arrange the strawberries in a single layer inside a vacuum bag.
- Pour the wine over the strawberries and seal the bag using the full pressure setting on the vacuum sealer.
- Use the macerated strawberries immediately or store them in the sealed vacuum bag for up to 7 days.
You could replace the sweet white wine with another liquid. Champagne, honey or balsamic vinegar would all complement the flavour of the strawberries. Please note, if you decide to add vinegar, you will need to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe and you must use the strawberries immediately. Add too much vinegar or leave the strawberries in the vinegar for too long and the fruit will begin to break down.
For a simple but delicious dessert, add macerated strawberries to ice cream or panna cotta or use them to make Eton mess. For a truly out-of-the-ordinary dessert, try William Drabble’s Pain perdu with strawberries, aged balsamic vinegar and parmesan; this recipe calls for roasted strawberries but macerated ones would work just as well.
Believe it or not, macerated strawberries can also be used in savoury recipes. For example, Dave Watt’s Scallops, Sweet Eve strawberries and balsamic is a delicious summer starter.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com