Learning how to freeze fresh fruit is easy! Now is the perfect time to freeze these colorful jewels, especially since they are so plentiful during this time of the year. Fruit is cheaper during the summer, so it only makes sense to purchase it while the prices are low.
Cobblers and pies are just a few dishes that are seasonally appropriate in the autumn and winter months. With your own frozen stash tucked away in the freezer, you will be able to enjoy these summer flavors well into the winter.
The first thing you want to do is wash the fruit just as if you were going to eat it right now. For example, if you are freezing apples … then you would wash them, peel them, and slice them according to your preferred size. This thinking would apply to any fruit. Berries, on the other hand, can be left whole (which makes them super-easy to prepare.) Regardless of the type of fruit it is, you must eliminate and sort out any damaged fruit. This can be done prior to, or during the washing process.
If you are freezing apples, or another type of fruit that tends to brown, you might want to treat them with a quality ascorbic acid agent prior to freezing. This simple process can be done in a variety of ways – from sprinkling the fruit with a powder form or placing them in an acid bath (lemon and water).
Today I will be freezing berries, which is very easy. While it is so tempting to just dump all your fruit in a plastic bag and toss it in the freezer – I encourage you not to. Fruit does not freeze well this way, and that is because the individual pieces of fruit start to stick to each other in the middle of the freezing process. Once totally frozen, you won’t be able to measure the amount of fruit you need without picking up huge blocks of frozen fruit. Individually frozen pieces are so much easier to work with!
Place the individual pieces of fruit on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. I like to use parchment paper because the clean-up is quick and tidy, but more importantly – the frozen fruit pieces don’t stick to the pan. Don’t cover the pan; just stick it into your freezer for a few hours.
Once frozen, remove the tray from the freezer and place the fruit into individual freezer bags (or containers specifically made for freezing food.) I like to use freezer bags because I can then “roll” them to get all the excess air out before sealing them up. Removing the excess air will help prevent freezer burn, and this step is very important no matter what container you decide to use.
Due to cellular damage, some fruit can become “mushy” after being frozen. This can happen to delicate berries, so I always try to use them before they are totally thawed out. By doing so, they will still will have a nice texture when eaten. For the best frozen berries, ensure that your freezer is set at the coldest setting.
Label and date your contents and you are good to go! Delicious fruit will be available to you throughout the year – from Smoothies to Pies, and so much more!