Well, with somewhat sad hearts, we picked the last of the blueberries this weekend. They lasted a lot longer than other years, perhaps due to all the rain at the start of the growing season. With the end of blueberries coupled with the nights dropping down into the low 50s for the past week, this can only mean that summer is coming to an end. That and the fact that school started this week. Always a sure sign of the season.
To preserve some of the best parts of summer, we always wind up freezing whole berries for use later in the fall. Pancakes, muffins, smoothies, pies, and crisps all work well with frozen fruit. These bags and containers of fruit keep us going through the colder months. Freezing fruit from our own backyard is a fast, easy and satisfying process that tastes great later.
Freezing whole berries is as easy as washing, drying and freezing. Berries without stems like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and elderberries require only a few towels and a couple of cookie sheets. If you are freezing strawberries you will need to remove the stems first and then follow the same process.
To begin, pick through the berries to remove any unripe or overripe fruit. Wash in cold water and then dry on towels. The berries need to be completely dry before freezing to prevent ice build-up and/or freezer burn.
Once the berries are dry, spread them out on cookie sheets.
Place the sheets in the freezer and let them freeze overnight until fully solid.
Once frozen, place in freezer safe containers or in airtight freezer bags.
Most recipes call for about a cup of berries and so we freeze our berries in 1-cup portions to make baking easier later. When you want to use your berries, simply add to the recipe – for many recipes, there is no need to defrost the berries first.
This blog post was shared at: From the Farm Blog Hop