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Should I freeze my blackberries?

This past Sunday I found blackberries on sale for a buck a pint. I bought 8. I want to make Himalayan Blackberry Pie for Christmas dinner. Those berries aren't going to wait until Christmas. Should I freeze them or should I make the pie and freeze that? What are your best suggestions for freezing (be it pie or berries)? Thanks all!

asked by chl0525 almost 5 years ago
8 answers 785 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 5 years ago

I'd freeze the berries. Place them in a Ziploc freezer bag and press out all the air before sealing. Then just pop it into the freezer.

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em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

Exactly what I was going to write. I make blackberry pie with frozen berries all year long. You don't need to thaw them either- just stick them in a pot with some sugar and heat until the sugar is melted and the berries have released their juice.

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added almost 5 years ago

I would rinse them, spread them on sheet pan lined with paper towels and let them dry (that is a good time to also pick out the ones that are staring to go mushy). Then sprinkle some granulated sugar on them and freeze them in ziploc bag or if you have an appropriate plastic container, even better. The addition of sugar makes a difference when you are defrosting them. Just make sure to measure out how much you add, in order to later be able to adjust the amount of sweetener you add to the pie filling.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 5 years ago

Freeze the berries first. You can sort of IQF (individually quick frozen) your berries. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, transfer to a ziploc freezer bag until you're ready to use them.

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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 5 years ago

Curious about the first step on the baking sheet. Why do you do that -- is it so they don't all clump together?

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 5 years ago

Yes, exactly. So if you're using berries in another recipe, like scones for example, you can just scoop out a portion at a time, and toss into your dry ingredients. And like EP mentions below, they'll retain their plump berry shape. Not so much an issue if you're making a pie or a smoothie, but in a scone/biscuit, it's nice to bite into a fat juicy berry!

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added almost 5 years ago

Id probably make the pie, as it's one less thing to do nearer the time, and it'll freeze fine... However, if you freeze the berries, I would open freeze them first - spreading them out on a baking sheet to freeze them means they keep separate, so they're easier to use from frozen (you can just shake out what you need) but also the berries will freeze more quickly which helps keep the berries nice texture wise.

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added almost 5 years ago

Thank you to everyone for the valuable advice! I rinsed and dried them and then spread the berries out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper to freeze individually so they can hang out in a zipper bag until Christmas. I'm really looking forward to that pie. :)