Video: How to Macerate Berries

Turn fresh summer fruit into a sweet topping for ice cream, cakes, yogurt, and more

If you're running out of ways to use this summer's bounty of fresh berries but lacking the energy to make yet another jam or fruit pie, maybe something a little simpler is in order. Macerating is a process used to soften food and enhance its flavor by letting the food sit in a liquid or with sugar—an easy technique that lends itself perfectly to all kinds of summer fruit.

Start by gently rinsing and drying your berries, then add a little granulated sugar—we recommend about a tablespoon for every cup of fruit, though you may want to adjust the amount if your berries are very sweet or very sour. Let the fruit sit for about 15–30 minutes; the sugar will dissolve, sweetening and drawing some of the water from the berries. Once the berries are ready, you can use the sweetened fruit to top yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or cheesecake. Or stir them into fresh whipped cream for a super simple summer dessert.