Are all sour cherries suitable for freezing?
No. Choose the darkest possible specimens that are ripe but not overripe. It is ideal to prepare and freeze the sour cherries immediately after harvesting.
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You should sort out fruits with bruises or other blemishes immediately. Such tart cherries would very likely become mushy after freezing and thawing.
Freezing sour cherries - step-by-step instructions
- Wash and clean the sour cherries thoroughly, for example in a bucket filled with fresh, clear water.
- Pour the cherries into a colander and let them drain well. You can also help with kitchen paper. Then dab the fruits very carefully so as not to damage them. It is important that the cherries are completely dry before freezing.
- Remove the stalks from the sour cherries.
- If necessary, you can now core the cherries - but this step does not have to be mandatory. Several experts even advise freezing the fruit and its stone to reduce the loss of juice. In addition, it is still possible to remove stones from the cherries later (in a slightly thawed state).
- Spread the sour cherries on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. The fruits shouldn't touch. If you don't have a baking tray that fits in the freezer, you can use very flat plates.
- Slide the baking sheet or plates with the sour cherries into your freezer. This step is called shock freezing or shock freezing. As a result, the cherries do not freeze together, so they can be portioned individually and are still crisp and fresh after thawing.
- Let the cherries freeze on the highest level for one to two hours.
- Take the sour cherries out of the freezer to portion them in freezer bags or cans. It is important not to overfill the containers - the fruits should be able to unfold. You will also need to pull the air out of freezer bags, whether with a vacuum sealer or with your mouth.
- Seal the bags or cans airtight.
- Put the containers with the tart cherries in the freezer.
Note: The sour cherries can be kept frozen for up to ten months.
More detailed explanation of shock freezing
When freezing, the water contained in the sour cherries forms crystals. If you freeze the fruit slowly, these crystals become larger and spread unfavorably, which destroys the cell walls of the tender cherries and consequently affects the consistency and destroys the valuable vitamins. This can be prevented by shock freezing. It ensures that only very small crystals develop, which are distributed evenly outside and inside the cells. This is how the sour cherries keep their crispness and most of their vitamins.
Defrost sour cherries properly - this is how it works
Place the frozen cherries on a cloth and slowly let them thaw in the air.
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