Strawberries soaked in orange liquor or orange juice with a smack of flavor from black peppercorns. These simple macerated strawberries are the perfect way to use up not-so-sweet strawberries or slightly under-ripe strawberries. They will also likely be one of the most simple desserts you will ever bring together! Serve with some sweetened whipped cream, or spoon the macerated strawberries on top of some ice cream, and you will be in strawberry heaven.
What Do You Need For Orange and Black Pepper Macerated Strawberries
This recipe uses just a handful of simple ingredients to create an intense strawberry dessert that will have your guests begging for the recipe.
Plus it can be made in advance!
You will need:
- Fresh strawberries (perfect for using up a lot of strawberries when they are in season and cheap, especially as we can store them for a while once macerated);
- Orange liquor such as Grand Marnier, Contrieu. Or orange juice for a family-friendly, non-alcoholic version;
- Sugar (you can get away with using no sugar if your strawberries are already sweet enough by themselves): you can always sub out the sugar for some splenda, stevia, honey or other natural sweetener of choice;
- Freshly ground black pepper.
Although the black pepper does sound like a strange addition to a sweet recipe, I can assure you that it makes for an even more intense strawberry flavor, and works just wonderfully in this dish.
You might also want to make sure you have some thickened cream on hand, as this makes a wonderful pairing.
How To Make Macerated Strawberries: Grand Marnier Version
Don't worry, no special skills are needed for this easy dessert.
- Cut up the strawberries into bite-sized pieces and place them in a mixing bowl;
- Mix the Grand Marnier and the sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved;
- Grind the black peppercorns using either a mortar and pestle, or a pepper grinder;
- Toss the strawberries with the Grand Marnier mixture until the strawberries are evenly coated;
- Add most of the crushed black pepper to the strawberry mixture, saving a little for the topping;
- Chill for about 2 hours, or overnight for a more intense flavor.
I like to serve my macerated strawberries in a fancy glass, topped with some whipped cream and fresh orange zest. It makes a super simple dessert look that little bit fancy.
How To Make Sweet Whipped Cream (The Perfect Accompaniment)
If you plan on serving your macerated strawberries with sweetened whipped cream to take them to the next level, then simply mix the heavy cream, sugar (or alternative sweetener of choice), and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft stiff peaks form.
If you are avoiding refined sugar, then simply replace it with one of the following:
- other natural granulated style sugar (I use Natvia);
- monk fruit syrup;
- maple syrup;
- or honey.
The strawberries will be sweet enough, that you will not need to add a lot of sweetness to the whipped cream, or you could avoid the added sweetener altogether.
Pro Tip: serve the macerated strawberries at room temperature to further bring out the flavor of the strawberries.
Can Macerated Strawberries Be Made Without Alcohol?
If you prefer not to use alcohol, simply replace the orange liquor in this recipe with orange juice.
Alternatively you can use some lemon juice if that is what you have.
Storing and Freezing Tips
The good news, macerated strawberries will last in the fridge for about 3 days.
Technically you can keep them for longer (about 5 days), but I find the texture becomes a bit too soggy after 3 days.
The longer you leave the strawberries soaking in the mixture, the more juice will be released by the strawberries, and the softer they will become.
Store the whipped cream separately in an airtight container.
To get the best texture from your macerated strawberries, I would suggest eating them within one day. This prevents them from getting too soft and becoming mushy.
If you would like to freeze the macerated strawberries, remove all of the liquid first, place them into a Ziploc bag, or a vacuum seal bag, and try to remove as much air as possible before placing them into the freezer.
How To Serve Macerated Strawberries
These strawberries macerated in orange liquor, or orange juice, can be served in so many ways.
- Put the desired amount of strawberries into the glass of your choice (the fancier the glass the better);
- Top with whipped cream;
- Garnish the whipped cream topping with the rest of the black pepper and a sprinkle of orange zest (optional).
You can also try serving them:
- Spooned on top of some vanilla ice cream;
- In cakes and cupcakes;
- Spooned on top of pancakes or waffles for a fancy adults-only breakfast (if you want to serve to the whole family, remember to swap the liquor for some orange juice instead)
Experiment and find your favorite way to serve this simple and delicious treat.
Need More Strawberry Recipes
I love using strawberries in both sweet and savory recipes, they are so versatile!
Try them out in these equally easy recipes:
- Easy Baked Strawberries
- Clean Eating Homemade Strawberry Syrup
- Strawberry Coconut Butter
- Baked Strawberry Crumble In Mini Mason Jars
- Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
Simple Orange and Black Pepper Macerated Strawberries
For Macerated Strawberries
- 2 pints fresh strawberries
- 5 tablespoons orange liquor or orange juice (or orange juice if preferred)
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
For Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (sugar, stevia or honey)
- orange zest (optional garnish)
- Wash the strawberries, remove the green stem, and cut them into bite-sized pieces, place them into a mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, mix the orange liquor (or orange juice) and the confectioner's sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Use a mortar and pestle, or a pepper grinder to crack the black peppercorns.
- Toss the strawberries with the orange mixture until they are evenly coated. Add ¾ of the crushed black pepper, saving the remainder for sprinkling on top when serving.
- Chill for about 2 hours, or up to overnight for a more intense flavor.
- Mix the heavy cream, sweetener of choice, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft stiff peaks form.
- Place the desired amount of strawberries into the glass of your choice.
- Top with whipped cream.
- Garnish the whipped cream topping with a small sprinkle of black pepper and some orange zest (optional).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I love how quick and easy this was. We did it for xmas dessert as we were way too full for anything else. Will be doing it for Valentines Day as well 🙂