Making jam isn’t hard, but freezing fruit it even easier. It’s also more versatile. When you make jam, all you have is jam. When you freeze fruit, you can make quick jam, or put the fruit in salads, baked goods, sorbets, cocktails, sauces, etc.
Out of all of the fruits, berries are the easiest to freeze – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pitted cherries, etc. Wash and sort the berries well, discarding any stems and bruised fruit. Lay the berries out to dry completely on towels. Once the berries are dry, spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and pop them in the freezer. Leave them in until they are just frozen through – 30-40 minutes. Pre-freezing the berries ensures that the berries will not freeze together in one unmanageable lump in the freezer bag. Portion the berries into labeled and dated freezer bags, the pop them back in the freezer. That’s it – in about an hour you can preserve some of the harvest for the dark days of winter – raspberries with chocolate cake in a January snowstorm, anyone?
Oh, and when you’re ready to use your berries, it’s best to defrost them overnight in the refrigerator. They’ll maintain the best shape that way. Enjoy!