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Everyone wants to keep their cherries fresh longer. For this, different freezing methods are used. In order for the berries to retain all their beneficial properties and appetizing appearance, you need to observe some simple conditions. Next, let's look at how you can freeze cherries.
Can cherries be frozen for the winter?
You can freeze cherries. But you should pay attention to the variety of berries and the effect of low temperatures on their pulp. All varieties of cherries are subdivided into two types: Moreli and Amoreli.
The former have a more sour taste and darker fruits:
When frozen, these berries do not lose their taste or aroma. The pulp remains the same rich color as fresh. Amoreli (Melitopol dessert, Shpanka, Amorel rosea) have pink or light red flesh and a sweeter taste.
Important! In winter, cherries will provide an additional source of vitamin C. They also contain vitamins A, B, PP, K and E, mineral salts and organic acids. It will help people with cardiovascular diseases to replenish the deficiency of potassium, magnesium and folic acid.
Product selection and preparation
It is best to freeze freshly picked berries, so that all vitamins will remain in them. It is recommended to choose only ripe cherries (in unripe or overripe ones there will be no benefit or pleasant taste). You do not need to wash the berries in warm (and even more so hot) water. Only cool. Allow them to dry well from moisture before freezing. The most optimal temperature is considered to be from -18 to -23 ˚C. With this mode, the berries are stored for up to 8 or 12 months.
The freezer must be perfectly clean. It is very convenient to use refrigerators with a super freeze function. This mode should be activated about 5 hours before the fruit is to be frozen.
If you need to defrost the refrigerator, make sure that the containers with berries are not thawed. To do this, wrap the containers in a burlap with a cotton layer or old blankets. This will prevent the loss of cold.
Advice! In ordinary plastic bags, the berries can be very deformed. It is better to freeze them immediately on a tray or on a flat dish, and then pack them into bags, tying them tightly. Baking trays lined with parchment paper are also suitable. But it is worth remembering that cherries have the peculiarity of absorbing extraneous odors.
Ways to freeze cherries at home
The freezing method depends on how you plan to dispose of the cherries later. If it is used for filling for confectionery products, it is better to get rid of the seeds before freezing. If compotes, jelly or jelly are cooked from it, the bones can be left. This will make the berries more juicy.
Whole berries should be washed and dried well. After that, they must be put in a freezer container, sprinkled with sugar in layers, closed and put in the freezer. In the case when seedless fruits are harvested in a similar way, after removing the latter, the workpieces should be left for a while so that the juice can drain from them, and only after that can be sprinkled with sugar.
To properly freeze pitted cherries, dry berries should be laid out in one layer right in the freezer and frozen. Then distribute into containers and send back to the freezer. If you immediately pack the berries in a container, they will stick together into one ugly lump, and upon subsequent defrosting they will have an unsightly appearance. Cherries are suitable for consumption only for the next 6 (if all the rules are followed) 8 months.
Seedless berries are also best freeze dry. Arrange on cutting boards, sprinkle with sugar on top and send to the freezer. Then do as described above. When packing in plastic bowls, alternate a ball of berries with a layer of granulated sugar.
Advice! If the family loves compotes, you can freeze the berry platter. So the taste of the drink will be more interesting and richer.
You can combine cherries with currants, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries. This method is also convenient because the berries do not need to be thawed before cooking.
In sugar syrup
An excellent solution for those with a sweet tooth. To do this, pour a liter of water into a saucepan and add 1.5 kg of granulated sugar. Simmer over the fire, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the syrup from the stove and let it cool. In the meantime, the washed pitted cherries must be put into portioned containers. Pour the cooled syrup completely over. It takes 2 hours for the berries to soak in sugar. You can freeze.
For those who like to pamper themselves and loved ones with exquisite cocktails, this method will be to their liking. In addition, the berries will look great, as if they are placed in transparent glass.
You need to wash the ice cube trays and wipe them dry. Put one cherry in each cell and pour boiled water at room temperature. Cover the forms with lids (if they are not there, ordinary cling film will do). The water should freeze completely.
You can achieve the desired consistency using a meat grinder, sieve or blender (a mixer is also suitable). A little sugar will go: 200-300 g for 1 kg of berries. It should melt. Put the resulting mixture in portioned bowls and put in the freezer.
Separate a third part from one kilogram of washed dry pitted cherries. Grind this portion until puree. Mix with granulated sugar. The crystals should dissolve. Put whole berries on the bottom of plastic containers and pour mashed potatoes. The product is ready to be frozen.
Puree with cherries and raspberries is aromatic and healthy. Remove the seeds from the washed and dry cherries. Sort the raspberries thoroughly and make a homogeneous mass out of them. Add granulated sugar to it (for 1 kg of the mixture ½ kg of sugar will go). Place cherries on the bottom of a plastic dish and pour over raspberry puree. Close the lid tightly and transfer to the freezer.
Can frozen cherries be canned?
Properly frozen berries will remain intact, but may deform slightly after thawing. This is the only moment that can affect the hostess's desire to prepare canning. Otherwise, there are no restrictions. Frozen cherries can be useful for both compote and jam.
Before freezing, divide the cherries into separate portions with a maximum of half a kilogram. You can use plastic cups or containers with lids as containers.
For storage, you can use special bags with a vacuum seal. It is easy to spread the berries in them in one thin layer. This way they will not choke and keep their shape. It is imperative to release air from the bag, otherwise the shelf life of cherries will be sharply reduced. To save space, stack the bags in the freezer on top of each other.
How many frozen berries are stored
Pitted cherries can be stored as long as you like. Wholes are a special issue. It is believed that the bones secrete hydrocyanic acid over time. Therefore, the shelf life is recommended to be reduced to one year
It seems like there shouldn't be any problem with this process. But this is not the case. It also has its own specifics. Often housewives feel sorry for spending a lot of time on such a simple matter. A microwave oven, defrosting in warm water and other quick methods are used, from which there is more harm than good.
Under the influence of a sharp contrast of temperatures, vitamins and useful microelements are destroyed. The peel of the berries can burst, the pulp loses its elasticity and precious juice. From this, the fruits become shriveled and change their shape. Such fruits will not be beneficial, and there will be little aesthetic pleasure from eating them.
Easier with berries, which were harvested for compotes and other drinks. From the freezer, you can immediately transfer them to the pan and start cooking.
Advice! Frozen cherries are eaten in the same way as fresh ones. Jam, jams, compotes are made from it. Perfect as a filling for pies and dumplings, it is used to decorate cakes and pastries. A delicate dessert will be made from whipped cottage cheese with the addition of cherries. You can safely prepare various tinctures, as well as interesting sauces for meat dishes.
And if you want to eat whole cherries or add to your favorite yogurt, you need to remove them from the freezer a day before meals. The fruit container is moved from the chamber to the upper shelf of the refrigerator. The temperature is higher there, but still not the same as in the room. This is the most correct decision. Also do before preparing mousses or jellies.
And if you bake a pie? A reservation must be made here. For all types of dough, except for biscuits and casseroles, berries are suitable without defrosting. When droplets of moisture get into it, biscuit dough will not work, and the casserole may not bake. Having frozen cherries on the table in winter is a great success. With their help, you can cook a lot more interesting dishes and please your home with the taste of a sunny summer.