Prepare sweet cherries for freezing
If you want to freeze sweet cherries, you should use freshly picked or just bought cherries. The sweet cherries lose their aroma with each passing day. They should also not have any brown spots or other quirks, as this greatly reduces their shelf life in the frozen state and the taste of the sweet cherries also suffers.
Wash the cherries, drain them thoroughly and remove the stems. Now you have to decide whether you want to pit the sweet cherries before freezing them. Cherries that have been pitted in advance can be used if necessary without any additional work steps. Cherries frozen with a core have the advantage that they remain juicier and can be pitted more easily when semi-frozen than fresh sweet cherries.
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Freezing step by step
- Spread the prepared sweet cherries side by side on a cutting board or tray and place them in the *** freezer for at least two hours. This step is especially important with pitted cherries as it will prevent the cherries from freezing together into a lump.
- Pour the frozen cherries into freezer-safe containers. You can choose between freezer bags, cotton bags and boxes made of plastic or stainless steel. Label the containers with the date of freezing and seal them carefully.
- Put the pre-frozen sweet cherries in their freezer containers back in the freezer. At -18 ° C they still taste good even after a year of storage.
Thaw and process sweet cherries
The type of thawing depends on how you plan to use the sweet cherries. For a freshly prepared compote, for example, you can put the cherries directly frozen in the saucepan. If sweet cherries are needed for cold desserts or for baking, you can defrost them in a sieve and at the same time catch the dripping cherry juice.
If you have not pitted your cherries yet, proceed as follows: Take the sweet cherries out of the freezer and let them thaw until you can easily cut into them with a sharp knife. If you stone the cherries in this state, the stone will loosen from the pulp more easily and the cherries will lose less juice than if you stone fresh sweet cherries.
Thawed sweet cherries have a significantly softer consistency than the fresh fruits. But because they retain their good taste and vitamins, it is still worth freezing sweet cherries.