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How to Freeze Cherries

There’s nothing like biting into a sweet, juicy cherry during its peak season. However, this lovely fruit is seasonal and won’t always be around. That’s why freezing cherries can be a lifesaver, allowing us to enjoy them all year round.

Not to mention, it’s perfect for those sudden cherry pie cravings! If you’re unsure how to freeze cherries correctly, fear not! This comprehensive guide will take you through every step of the process. Let’s dive in!

A glass bowl filled with frozen cherries.
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To freeze cherries, select fresh, ripe fruit and wash thoroughly. Pit the cherries for convenience, then freeze them on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Once frozen, transfer to airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Use within a year for the best flavor.

Why Freeze Cherries?

Frozen cherries aren’t just for your convenience. They also offer several benefits!

Preserving Freshness

Freezing preserves the fruit’s freshness, including its delightful taste and nutritional content. It’s almost like pausing the cherry in time, ready for you to enjoy whenever you please.

Reducing Waste

If you’ve got an abundance of cherries and can’t eat them all before they spoil, freezing is an excellent way to reduce waste.

The Cherry-Freezing Process

Freezing cherries can be summed up in five simple steps: selecting, washing, pitting, freezing, and storing.

Step 1: Selection

The freezing process starts with choosing the right cherries. Look for fresh, ripe cherries with vibrant color and smooth skin. Avoid any with bruises or blemishes. Check out our guide on how to tell if cherries are ripe so that you know what to look for.

Step 2: Washing

Next, wash the cherries under cold water to remove any dirt or pesticides. This step also helps to prevent any bacteria from entering the freezer with your cherries.

Step 3: Pitting

Pitting cherries before freezing helps to retain their shape and texture. It also makes them easier to use in future recipes. There are several methods to pit cherries, but using a cherry pitter is by far the easiest and most efficient.

Step 4: Freezing

Once your cherries are washed and pitted, it’s time to freeze them. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they’re not touching each other to prevent them from freezing together.

Step 5: Storing

After the cherries are frozen solid (usually overnight), transfer them to airtight containers or freezer bags. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.

Key Tips for Freezing Cherries

Below are a few crucial pointers to keep in mind when freezing cherries:

  1. Quickly freeze the cherries after pitting: This preserves their texture and taste.
  2. Label the containers: Don’t forget to write the date on your containers or freezer bags. This helps you keep track of how long they’ve been stored.
  3. Use within one year: Although frozen cherries can last longer in the freezer, it’s best to use them within a year for optimal flavor.

Absolutely! Here’s a sentence for you:

“Just as you can freeze cherries for year-round enjoyment, you can also preserve raspberries in a similar way. Check out our comprehensive guides on how to freeze raspberries or peaches for all the details!”

How to Thaw Frozen Cherries

Thawing cherries is a breeze! Simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, or at room temperature for a quicker option. If you’re planning to use them in a smoothie, there’s no need to thaw them at all!

Ways to use Frozen Cherries

Frozen cherries are incredibly versatile. You can use them in just about anything!

Baking: Frozen cherries are perfect for pies, tarts, muffins, and more. You don’t even need to thaw them before use—simply toss them in some flour to absorb excess moisture and add them directly to your recipe.

Give this cherry cobbler a try with your frozen cherries next time you are looking to bake!

Smoothies: They’re a fantastic addition to smoothies, providing natural sweetness and a lovely tart kick.

Sauces and compotes: Simmer frozen cherries on the stove with some sugar to create a delicious sauce or compote.

Direct snacking: If you fancy a cold, refreshing snack, try eating a few straight from the freezer!

Remember that when using frozen cherries, they may release more liquid than fresh ones. Keep this in mind when adding them to your recipes.

StepAction
ThawingRemove the desired amount from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or at room temperature for quicker thawing
BakingNo need to thaw; toss frozen cherries in flour to absorb excess moisture and add directly to your recipe
SmoothiesUse directly from the freezer
Sauces and compotesSimmer on the stove with some sugar
SnackingEat straight from the freezer for a refreshing treat

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Freeze Cherries

While it’s possible to freeze cherries with pits, removing them before freezing is advised. This not only saves freezer space but also makes it easier to use the cherries in future recipes.

To prevent freezer burn, make sure you store your cherries in airtight containers or bags with as much air removed as possible.

It’s generally best to avoid refreezing thawed cherries as this can degrade their texture and flavor. Try to only thaw what you’ll use.

Conclusion

With this step-by-step guide, you’re now ready to freeze cherries like a pro! Not only will you have a stash of this beloved fruit at your fingertips year-round, but you’ll also be reducing waste and preserving the freshness of your cherries.

Remember, the key to successfully freezing cherries lies in proper preparation, quick freezing, and suitable storage. Keep this guide handy, and you’ll always be just a few steps away from a delicious cherry dish, regardless of the season.

A glass bowl filled with frozen cherries.

How to freeze cherries

Bob
Freezing cherries is a fantastic way to enjoy this succulent fruit throughout the year. This easy process involves selecting, washing, pitting, freezing, and storing your cherries. Keep them on hand for baking, smoothies, or a quick, refreshing snack anytime you like!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Freezing time 2 hours
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Freezer bags or containters

Ingredients
  

  • Fresh, ripe cherries

Instructions
 

  • Select fresh, ripe cherries.
  • Wash under cold water.
  • Pit the cherries.
  • Freeze on a lined baking sheet in a single layer for at least 2 hours or until completely frozen.
  • Store in airtight containers or freezer bags.
  • Use within a year for best flavor.
Keyword How to freeze cherries
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