My all-time favorite fruit (even more so than strawberries and razzberries) = Bing Cherries! They only come on for about 30 days every year - AND every year I say that I am going to freeze them - and every year I eat them all first!
So, this year is going to be different. I don't want to "can" them, don't want to make any sugary sauce with them, just want to freeze them as they are - is that possible?
I'm thinking of using FreezerLock bags and laying them tight together and freezing flat on cookie sheets. QUESTION: Should I remove the stems before freezing or not? Thanks for any information....
Have never frozen cherries, but thing when thawed they won't be like fresh... like most frozen fruit/veggies... tho perfectly edible. Ideally, I'd freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then toss into freezer bag... so they'll be individual and not a blob. Thinking average person does NOT have room in their freezer for this!?! Maybe on largest plate you can fit in freezer... I'd put on a sheet of wax or parchment paper for easy removal. I have one of those vac sealers (picked up at a yard sale and LOVE it)... would vac seal once frozen.
I have frozen them to enjoy in the off-season.
I washed, dried, and pitted them. Froze them in a single layer, then packaged them in freezer boxes. Bags will work, but I like boxes better to prevent damaging the fruit during storage.
The texture will change. It's best to partially thaw them and eat right away. If you thaw hours ahead, they'll be very soft-to-mushy.
I like to top them with a dollop of sweetened ricotta w vanilla added, or with sour cream and a sprinkle of dark brown sugar.
There are several schools of thought on this topic. Here are some found on a quick search...
Wash and dry thoroughly before freezing. If you want them pitted then take out the pits . Lay them on a cookie sheet and "flash freeze" them until hard (approx. 30 minutes). Then remove them from cookie sheet and place in freezer bags in the quantity that you desire.
You can freeze fresh cherries, but they should be pitted first, otherwise they will take on an almond flavor from the pit. Beware the juice when pitting cherries, as it will stain clothing.
Freeze whole, pitted sweet cherries in 40 percent syrup (4 cups water plus 3 cups sugar) with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid (or citrus juice) added per quart of liquid.
They may also be pitted and frozen without liquid in plastic bags with all the air removed. Some cooks prefer to freeze separated cherries on a cookie sheet and then pack in bags for freezing.
To freeze sour cherries for pie filling, stir 3/4 cup of sugar into each quart of pitted, whole sour cherries. Pack in rigid airtight containers with 1/2-inch headspace or airtight bags. Frozen cherries will last ten to twelve months in the freezer.
To freeze, select firm, ripe cherries; rinse and drain the cherries. The cherries can be frozen whole with stems or in with a dry sugar pack.
To freeze whole with stems, spread the cherries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags; remove excess air, cover or fasten tightly and freeze.
To freeze with a dry sugar pack, ad 1/3 cup sugar for each pint of cherries; toss lightly to coat cherries with sugar. Fill freezer containers or bags; shake to pack fruit. Add cherries to fill containers or bags; cover or fasten tightly and freeze.
Thanks, everyone for all of your responses! Since I just like the bing cherries themselves (not red or sweet cherries) and don't like them "sweetened," I've decided to simply freeze them whole on some "throw-away" aluminum pans (rather than using my good cookie sheets) and then put in quart size Ziplock freezers bags.
I'll let you know how they turn out next January or so when I am really wanting a taste of them. I agree - they should be eaten BARELY thawed so they aren't mushy!
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