Freezing Cherries and Blueberries

Earlier this summer I posted a little rant about individually quick frozen fruit…which doesn’t mean that I not open to giving it another try. Several of you posted comments with tips for better results. Since I’m always game for an experiment, I thought: sure, let’s do it. So, of the fruit we picked last week, we did two quarts of blueberries individually, one quart of sugared blueberries, and two quarts of sugared cherries. I may yet do some cherries in syrup with the remaining ones—we’ll see how many are left after dinner tonight.

To recap the advantages, disadvantages, and steps for the various systems:

Individually Quick Frozen

Clean your fruit and rinse it in ice-cold water. Dry it off. Spread it in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick in your coldest freezer for a couple of hours until entirely frozen (somewhere around 2 to 4 hours). Transfer to freezer bags, and double-bag for safety.

Pros: can remove as many or as few berries as you’d like; they thaw quickly; no added sugar.
Cons: greater risk of freezer burn; flavor not preserved as well; ideally should be kept in a deep freezer, as the cycles of a refrigerator freezer may cause berries to melt and refreeze

frozen-cherriesSugared Berries

Clean your berries and rinse in ice-cold water. Toss with sugar, which will vary depending on the kind of fruit. For strawberries, use 3/4 c. per qt; sweet cherries: 3/4 c. per qt; blueberries, 1/2 c. per qt. Transfer to a container with rigid sides and freeze.

Pros: excellent flavor and minimal work. Just toss with sugar, stuff in containers, and forget about them. Will keep for at least a year, maybe more.
Cons: you have to thaw out the entire container, and of course this requires a lot of sugar.

We’ll report the results this winter, or next year, whenever we get around to eating them.

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