Right now my raspberry and blackberry bushes are producing fruits like crazy. There is nothing better than when you’re cutting grass and pulling the tractor up close beside one of those bushes and eating fresh berries right off the bush. However one can only eat so many in one grass cutting setting. And since they are in their prime, you need to pick them. The thing is, there’s a lot of ’em and I can only store so many in the fridge or make so many pancakes, muffins or cookies. So to preserve them I just freeze them.
Now hold off there as it’s not as simple as putting them in a container and popping them in the freezer. Nope, you can’t do that. Know why? Well hold on and I’ll tell you.
→ Do NOT wash your berries prior to freezingNot only does washing them produce a tougher skin but you also risk the chance of having them develop ice crystals.
→ Make room in your freezer for a rimmed pan to lie down flat. The largest one you have is best.
→ Line the pan with parchment. This is important. I’ve found foil or using nothing can result in the berries freezing to the pan.
→ Place your berries on the parchment paper in a single, even layer. Do not stack them. You want an even layer.
→ Freeze until solid (2-3 hours or overnight). You want your berries completely frozen. THIS is called Flash Freeze.
→ Once the berries are frozen solid, store them in a freezer safe container or plastic bag.
→ All berries should be used within 6 months.
→ The only special thing you need to do for strawberries is cut off the stem (green part), pat the cut part dry as best you can and when you place them on the pan, place them cut side down on the parchment paper.
Pretty simple huh? So when it’s the middle of winter, negative nasty degrees outside you can have your fresh blueberry cobbler with those farm-fresh berries straight out of your freezer!