Raspberry season wrapped up a week or two ago. All our raspberries are wild ones. Some people around here call them wine berries, but I’m kind of stuck in my ways, so I still call them wild raspberries. 🙂 I love the wild ones because to me they have a much more vibrant flavor than the cultivated varieties (which for the record, I love those too).
We are blessed with an abundance of berries, and the kids and I would be out picking for hours. They ate their weight in berries on picking days! I had quite a few myself. 🙂 We managed to pick 11 gallons for our freezer, another 6 gallons to give away, and some to make a batch of jelly.
I like to flash freeze them on trays before putting them in gallon bags, that way I can easily measure out berries for recipes or snacking. My kids and I love eating frozen raspberries on a hot day. It is almost as good as ice cream and better for us!
Anyway, I have learned a few tricks when I freeze them. I rinse them all off and put them directly on the tray. I don’t bother trying to dry them because it seems like an extra step that would take forever. However, if the berries are all watery, the water will turn into ice and freeze the berries to the tray….then they crumble if you try to get them off. So, what I do is leave a corner of the tray empty. Then before putting it in the freezer, I tilt it (empty corner down) and use a sponge to soak up the excess water. Then, I go one step further and put the tray in the freezer at a slight angle. That way if there is still any water it will go to the empty corner to freeze. I usually end up leaving the trays in the freezer over night and then the next morning use my spatula to scoop the berries into a bag. In case you wonder, I don’t add any sugar to the bag. I know some methods of freezing fruit require fruit juice or sugar. Doing it this way, there is no need for that, and you can enjoy the natural yumminess of the berries.
I love raspberry season, and I love it when I have a freezer stocked up with enough free berries to last until next July. Do you love raspberries? Do you have any helpful tricks when freezing fruit? Feel free to share you favorite raspberry recipe in the comments, I’m always looking for new ones.