How to store raspberries: tips on freezing & more
Freezing and preserving raspberries are two great ways to enjoy raspberries from your own garden even in autumn or winter.
If you lovingly tended your raspberries (Rubus idaeus) all year round and are rewarded with a bountiful harvest, you will have plenty of fruits to enjoy for the months to come. Read on for tried-and-true ways of preserving your raspberries for the rest of the year along with instructions for each method.
Storing fresh raspberries
Fresh raspberries have a very short shelf life. The delicate berries can easily withstand one or two days in the refrigerator – after a few days in a refrigerator, raspberries become mushy and start to mould. The best way to keep raspberries fresh in the fridge is to place them next to each other in a single layer, for example on a plate, in a shallow bowl or in a colander. If you put them in a container, make sure the container is air permeable. To prevent mould, ensure the raspberries are thoroughly dry. In fact, when they come from your own garden, it is better to not wash raspberries for this reason.
If the fruits are moist, blot them dry before placing them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, the bottom of the container can be lined with paper towels to absorb the moisture. Remove any pest-infested, mouldy or rotten raspberries to prevent the spread of raspberry diseases to the remaining healthy fruits. Raspberries picked when fully ripe can be eaten right away – they have the best aroma.
Freezing raspberries is an excellent method for extending them beyond their season. Before freezing, however, wash and pre-sort your raspberries. Remove any raspberry fruit that shows signs of damage or mould. After washing and sorting, thoroughly drain and dab the raspberries with a kitchen towel to prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing. After freezing, the raspberries will keep for at least 6 months.
How to freeze raspberries
There are two ways to freeze raspberries, depending on what they will be used for when they are defrosted.
If you are not bothered by the raspberries freezing together in small clusters, simply place them in an airtight freezer box and put them in the freezer. If you are using a freezer bag, press the excess air out of the bag before freezing to reduce the loss of vitamins and flavour. This method is easy and useful for later use of the raspberries in sauces, purees, smoothies and shakes. We suggest freezing your raspberries in a freezer box rather than a bag – raspberries are sensitive to pressure and easily damaged when handled too much. Alternatively, puree your fresh raspberries and freeze them as a puree.
Now, not everyone has the patience to separate raspberries frozen to each other. If your plan to use them to decorate a cake or garnish a punch, Bacardi Razz or other cocktails, you will need the individual fruits. In this case, a better freezing method is to place the berries in single layer on a plate, in a bowl or on a baking tray and cover them with cling film – put them in the freezer like this. To prevent the raspberries from freeze-drying, additionally cover the fruit with foil or a plastic lid.
After a few hours, take the plate out of the freezer, and quickly put the frozen berries into a sealable freezer box. Let the air out of the container, and quickly put the box back into the freezer. When you need some berries out of the freezer the next few months, they will be easy to portion. If you need your raspberries to keep their shape after thawing, defrost them at a cool temperature, such as in the refrigerator, and in a sieve.
Freezing raspberries or raspberry puree is a gentle preservation method that retains more vitamins than canning. However, these can of course also be lost during subsequent processing – for example in the oven when baking a cake or when heating the raspberries to make a sauce. Defrosting frozen raspberries in the refrigerator and then using them raw for a smoothie, porridge or milkshake also retains the healthy vitamins.
How to process frozen raspberries
If you enjoy raspberry sauces or purees with yoghurt, curds, a mousse or a pudding, you can freeze processed raspberries instead of raw ones. Try your hand at making raspberry ice cream with whipped cream, egg yolks, vanilla sugar and slightly pureed raspberries. After freezing the mixture, stir it every few hours so that the egg yolk does not settle. After stirring two or three times, you will reach the desired consistency. Your raspberry ice cream will keep for several months. Popsicles can also be made from pureed raspberries or yoghurt mixed with raspberries. Portion frozen purees and sauces into ice cube moulds. Once frozen, move the cubes to a container or plastic bag – these cubes are easier to portion later.
Like almost every sweet fruit, raspberries can be boiled down into a preserve. First things first, carefully wash and sort your raspberries. Next, sprinkle the raspberries with plenty of sugar – 500 grams per 1 kilogram of raspberries – and leave them to soak for one to two hours. Then comes filling the preserving jars. For your preserving liquid, feel free to use simple sugar water, or embellish with a little raspberry syrup. Be sure to only fill the jars two-thirds full with the liquid and fruit – there needs to be enough room for expansion during the preserving process.
Once all the fruit has been portioned and the jars filled, close the jars tightly and boil them down for an hour.
Tip: The fruit can also be made into juices, syrups and jams, not to mention delicious raspberry butter or a juicy raspberry curd. The latter two are more elaborate, but they are worth it.
Can you freeze or dehydrate raspberries?
Drying and dehydrating fruit is becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, neither drying nor dehydrating is suitable for raspberries. With a water content of around 80 %, only the skin and seeds remain after the drying raspberries. As for freeze-dried raspberries, like those found in muesli or granola, they are produced by a technically complex process, which is arduous to imitate at home.
Although drying and dehydrating raspberries is somewhat impractical, there are many other ways to preserve the delicious fruits for enjoyment after the harvest season.
The dainty raspberry is a lovely garnish for various culinary delicacies. Learn about raspberry varieties to find out which pair best with different cuisines.