Like many fruits, blackberries have quite a short season. This is especially true in the UK. So perhaps one weekend, you decide to go out blackberry picking and end up with a good bucket full?
What do you do with this abundance of blackberries? Can you freeze fresh blackberries for a later date?
Blackberries can be frozen for up to 6 months. To freeze fresh blackberries, give them a wash, freeze them on a baking tray before bagging up and storing them in the freezer.
Can You Refreeze Blackberries? No
Do Blackberries Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Blackberries
Before we get to freezing your blackberries, you’ll want to give your blackberries a clean – especially if you’ve picked them in the wild yourself.
Tip your blackberries into a colander and run cold water over them. You can also fill your sink with cold water and dunk your colander into the water to submerge the blackberries and get them completely cleaned.
Once cleaned, you’ll want to make sure they’re as dry as possible. Give them a gentle shake trying not to damage them. Now that you’ve got clean blackberries, you can get them frozen:
- Discard Damaged Berries
Now the berries are clean, you need to make sure none of them are damaged or going off. If they are, discard them. There’s no point in freezing imperfect blackberries.
- Flash Freeze
You now need to flash freeze your blackberries. This will prevent them from clumping together when you give them their final freeze. Spread the blackberries out on a baking sheet, ensuring none of them touch. Place the tray into the freezer for a few hours until the blackberries are frozen on the outside.
- Bag Up
Remove the tray from the freezer and tip the semi-frozen berries into a bag.
You can now return the bag to the freezer, and the berries won’t stick together.
This is the best way to freeze blackberries as it will allow you to easily grab a handful or two at a time whenever you need blackberries in your cooking.
The method above doesn’t have to be limited to just blackberries. It will work with all berries and small fruits such as cherries. You can even mix different berries on the same tray to create a fruit mix.
Can You Freeze Blackberries Without Washing Them?
Well, you can freeze blackberries (and any fruit) without washing them beforehand but what would be the point? By spending just a few minutes washing them, you can ensure you remove any dirt and bugs which you are not going to want to eat in future.
Many frozen blackberry uses involve using the blackberries from frozen meaning you won’t get an opportunity to wash them again in the future. Instead, we would advise taking those extra few minutes to give them a quick wash under running water before freezing them.
3 Tips for Freezing Blackberries
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing blackberries to have the best results:
Flash freezing before the final freeze is vital if you expect to grab a handful of berries at a time. This is how you prevent them from sticking together in clumps.
Make Smoothie Mixes
Don’t limit a bag to blackberries, try flash freezing a whole variety of berries and then combine into one bag for an easy-to-use mixed berry smoothie bag. Try adding blackcurrants, blueberries and strawberries.
Try Making Desserts
Fruit pies and crumbles freeze remarkably well. If you want to have a dessert that’s ready to go from the freeze, then try naming an apple and blackberry crumble.
How Long Can You Freeze Blackberries?
If you leave your blackberries in the freezer for too long, then there’s a risk they’ll get freezer burn, and the texture can degrade. That’s why we would recommend trying to use your blackberries up within 6 months.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, so don’t worry if you end up with a few blackberries that you need to use beyond this point. There is a chance that the flavour will degrade quicker beyond this 6-month window.
You Can Freeze Blackberries for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Blackberries?
This depends on how you are going to use them. If you want to use them in a cobbler, smoothie or muffin, then you can actually use them straight from the freezer. Just toss them into the recipe as you normally would.
If you want to use them in a dish you’re going to eat straight away, such as topped on cereal or yoghurt, then you’ll need to thaw them beforehand. The easy way to do this is to place them in a bowl in the fridge overnight.
Can You Refreeze Blackberries?
We would not recommend refreezing blackberries. Refreezing them is likely to impact their texture, turning them soft and mushy. It will also rapidly degrade the flavour and nutritional value of the blackberries.
Do Blackberries Freeze Well?
They do indeed. Most berries will freeze perfectly well in the freezer. Provided that they’re not left in there for years on end, and you flash freeze them using the technique above, then you’ll be hard pushed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen blackberries.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing blackberries or berries in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Blackberry Puree?
If you’ve made a puree, then portion it into an ice cube tray, wrap the tray in clingfilm and place it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, remove the cubes and store them in a bag.
When you want to use the puree, place it in a saucepan over a low heat until thawed, then allow to cool down before serving.
Why Do Blackberries Turn Red After Freezing?
This is caused by the sudden temperature change experienced by the blackberries when placed into the freezer. The good news is that they remain perfectly safe to eat, and you should not throw away any that have turned red.
Can You Freeze Blackberries Before Making Jam?
Freezing blackberries is a great way to preserve for jam making in future. In fact, frozen blackberries can be used for a range of dishes in future, including crumble, pie and puree.
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