Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freezing Rraspberries

Freezing raspberries is a bit more tricky than freezing blueberries.  Raspberries are very fragile and require a bit of special attention.

First of all, when picking your berries, don't fill the pail more than three inches deep, or the weight of the top berries may squish the berries below them. 

Once you get them into the house, spread the berries out right away on a tray or coated cookie sheet.  Blueberries continue to ripen for up to twenty four hours after picking.  Raspberries, however, will start to deteriorate once they are picked, so they should be used or frozen as soon as possible.

(Looking down into the chest freezer.) 

I like to flash freeze raspberries by spreading them on a tray or coated cookie sheet and placing them in the chest freezer overnight.

(If you were to just fill a bag with berries, they would mush together and freeze as a solid mass. You would need to thaw the entire contents of the bag at once.) 

The next day, I scoop the berries up off of the trays and seal them in freezer quality bags. 
By flash freezing they maintain their integrity as individual berries, and you can shake out just the quantity you need when you go to use them.
 If you spread your raspberries too thickly on the tray, they stick together and are difficult to remove to pack into bags.  Because they are fragile, they tend to break apart when you go to remove them from the tray.
Here I've packed the berries in too tightly and they've
broken apart when I tried to get them off of the tray.
This tray shows a more successful loading of the tray:
one layer thick, whith a bit of space between berries.
Berries will roll off easily.
This type of cheapo cookie pan is NOT a good cjoice.
The juice from the berries reacts with the metal
and makes a black compound that discolors the berries.


sunrise said...

Jane, this is a wonderful blog! Dawn D.

Susan said...

Do you wash the rasberries before freezing?

Jane said...

No, I never wash raspberries because thy are so delicate. They grow so high off the ground, they don't get any ground-splash. And they are so easy to grow, I don't think too many commercial growers would bother to spray them, but it wouldn't hurt to ask if this is your concern.

Sorry for the delay in responding to your question; we're still out of power from Hurricane Irene. (Day 6)