Feb. 24, 2012
My Experience Freezing Strawberries
Lindsay received an email the other day about freezing berries, and if the texture would still be the same once thawd. Knowing that I am truely a Florida girl and love strawberries, she asked for my opinion.
That reminded me of several years ago, when my roommate and I went to the Strawberry Festival and decided to buy 2 flats of strawberries (that's 24 pints). Oops! We were eating nothing but strawberries for weeks, and giving aways cupcakes, pies (and anything else we could think to make) to our neighbors like crazy. Still we couldn't finish our flats. I didn't know there was limit to how many strawberries one could have until then.
We decided to freeze the leftovers (about half a flat) and use them many months in the future. I had never frozen fruit before. Sure I had frozen leftovers, and purchased frozen fruit. But I had not frozen any myself - being still in school there was a lot of cooking related things I had yet to try.
We read online about freezing them with a sugar or syrup pack, but that seemed like too much work for us. We had baked countless meals with strawberries & just wanted to be done with them.
So we lined them up on a cookie sheet and froze them overnight. the next morning we packed them in a bag and left them in the back for months - we didn't even want to see them!
3 months went by and summer was just starting, when we decided to thaw our berries. They were just as sweet and juicy as we remembered, but a little mushy.
They were still great diced in cupcakes and mixed into oatmeal, but not so good for salads. I was a little disappointed, becuase I knew I could buy frozen strawberries that generally do keep their shape when thawed. Looking back, and having read Lindsay's post about frozen produce, I know now that our berries were no longer at their peak (we had bought them at least a week earlier and no telling how long it was since they were picked) and we did not flash freeze them.
Knowing that the Strawberry Festival is about to start and Florida strawberries are at their peak, makes me want some now. Maybe I can sneak a flat into the house without Lindsay noticing ....