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Storing Ripe Berries

Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1994

Ripe berries are so tender they burst in your mouth -- if they don't get squashed in the carton first. Dessert chefs have a secret for keeping them intact: As soon as the berries arrive in the kitchen, scatter them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels, then store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to wash and eat them.

Comments (19)

  • 27 Jul, 2010

    I agree with the freezer space comment, try this: Line a cookie sheet with paper towel (as seen in photo) and lay your berries out in one layer. place the cookie sheet with the berries in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Remove from freezer and place the berries in a freezer proof ziplock bag and store in the freezer for as long as you like. This was the berries won't burst on top of each other if you were to just place them in the bag without flash freezing them first. Hope this helps!

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    i vote for clean blueberries with tough skins as opposed to not cleaned with a more delicate skin. they are a refreshing candy while still frozen and take no room at all in the frezer in a zip lock bag. if dried well, they can go in the freezer in a plastic container until frozen. i put them in a zip lock bag and bang the bag to break them apart if they stick.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    The idea is good. I use the largest glad containers, oblong and short sides, add one sheet of paper towels, berries, another paper towel til it's full. As long as the paper towel is keeping them separate, I've had berries for 2 weeks with no spoilage. The strawberry farmer at the farmer's market told me to do this. Close the lid tightly and story in a cold part of the frig but do not freeze.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    MrsJacki - I agree! Who has that much empty refrigerator space? Or a whole extra refrigerator to designate as the fruit frig?

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    We freeze New Jersey's best blueberries on cookie sheets as above WITHOUT washing. When frozen store in zip lock bags. Wash when used. Perfect!!!!

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    I dont wash berries at all for this very reason.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Great idea for fresh berries that I look forward to trying. I have always frozen berries this way but when they do thaw they are definnitely mushier and practically disintegrate when you wsh them- so do you wash them BEFORE you freeze them or not?

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Great idea for fresh berries that I look forward to trying. I have always frozen berries this way but when they do thaw they are definnitely mushier and practically disintegrate when you wsh them- so do you wash them BEFORE you freeze them or not?

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Blueberries are a member of the saskatoon family and shouldn't be washed before freezing because it toughens the skin. Wash them just before you use them. I prepare them same as Louyse. Fresh picked are even better: smaller and firmer.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    i freeze all kinds of berries, but cut bigger ones like strawberries into small sizes. The first thing the grandbabies do when they visit is beg for some. I put a mixture in a small plastic cup. They think they're getting candy. Feels good for teething gums.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    judys18 Reread the last line.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Just a noted to judysl8, the instructions tell you to wash them at the end. You won't want to wash them before you store them because they wouldn't last as long.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    I'm not reading anything about washing the berries. With E-Coli prevalent, you should really be washing the berries if you don't know where they are coming from.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    I use empty ice cubes trays to freeze hulled strawberries in. They freeze fairly fast so I can do several in a day. Once frozen, pop into freezer bag and continue adding to the bag until it is full. I love them in my smoothies.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Hey person #2 - I have a little freezer....I just freeze my berries in a glass pie pan. I do this in shifts, since I can only put in one at a time, but really the berries are so small they freeze quickly. Since we don't have much freezer space, we can't stock away that many anyway. Works well!!

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    You can stack the pans on top of other items. Just make sure that they are level so you don't loose the berries.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    This is a great idea. I also do this when I am going to freeze the fresh fruit. I lay them out cleaned on a baking sheet, and then put the pan into the freezer until the fruit has frozen. Then I put them in freezer bags and you have fresh fruit for the future.

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    Seriously... who has the room in their refrigerator to do this?!

  • 26 Jul, 2010

    This is a great tip. Also, to freeze berries, store them for a few hours, the same way, in the baking sheet. When they are frozen, place berries in a sealed freezer bag. So anytime of year, you have perfect berries to decorate and eat.