General Instructions for Freezing Fruits
Courtesy of Homestead Farm
- Please be aware that fruits are 80% or more water. When frozen, the water expands, and the cell wall breaks, thus changing the texture. Upon thawing, the texture will be mushy. Keep this in mind when determining how to use the frozen product. We recommend Ball's Blue Book as a thorough and accurate guide for preserving fruits and vegetables.
- Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries
- Wash and sort fruit.
- Add sugar if desired.
- Put fruit in freezer bags or containers.
- Seal and place in freezer.
- May be stored for up to one year at 0 degrees in the freezer.
- Apples should be stored in a refrigerator, between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, in a plastic bag for best results. (Maryland State Apple Commission: "Maryland Apples") Refrigerated apples will last two weeks to several months, depending on the variety. Apples may be frozen in slices or in a pie mixture. Ball's Bluebook suggests boiling the apples for two minutes, then cooling in ice water prior to draining, and freezing in plastic bags.
- Freeze cherries as soon as possible after picking to ensure a high quality product.
- Stem and sort cherries. Wash in cold water. Drain and pit. Pack into containers in one of the following ways:
- With sugar: 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water; mix to dissolve.
- In syrup: Bring 5 cups sugar and 4 cups water to a rolling boil. Chill syrup before using to freeze cherries.
- Plain: Place in freezer quality plastic bags.
- Frozen cherries may be stored for 12 months at 0 degrees.
- Make a simple syrup of 1 3/4 cups sugar boiled with 4 cups water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cool. To get peels off easily, dip peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then dip into ice water. Peel peaches and cut into chunks. Pour cooled syrup over cut peaches. Put peaches and syrup into plastic containers, allowing about 1/2 inch of head space. Do not use glass because the expansion in the freezer will break the glass. Press a crumbled piece of wax paper over the top layer of peaches to keep them from rising to the top of the container. If using plastic freezing bags, make sure all of the peaches are completely covered by the syrup to prevent browning.