Several years ago we added a small patch of Blackberries – the thorn-less variety – to our little patch of the world. As it turns out, the kids don’t eat them out of the patch quite like they do the raspberries, so I actually get more opportunity to preserve some! Whenever I have the chance to grab some fresh black or red raspberries or blackberries from a local road side stand, or pick some wine berries from the homestead, I take it. The season for berries always seems to short, and the birds give us some serious competition, so it feels good to be able squirrel some of them gems away for another day.
Here are a couple of ways to preserve their goodness for later!
Place clean berries in a single layer on a baking tray, cover them and put them in the freezer. When they’re frozen solid, pour them into a widemouth jar, or freezer jars, cap them, label them and return them to the freezer. I like to keep all of my fruit stash in one place and in sight, so that they’re easy to find when I need them, and so that they don’t get overlooked. I love to raid this section of my freezer when I need fruit for smoothies, for shrubs, and for handfuls of fruit to add to muffins, cobblers, pies or pancakes during the off season. If you’re really pressed for space, you can use Ziploc freezer bags.
One of our favorite ways to preserve just about any fruit – especially when we’ve only got a small quantity – is to make shrub. It’s super quick & easy and the results are so refreshing! If you’re not in a rush to use the shrub, you might opt for the cold-process method. However, if you’re out of shrub and are in a hurry, you could speed things up and use the hot-process. You can simply swap the fruits for both of those….oh, and you can use frozen fruit for this too!