Bulletin #4383, Freezing Fruits
Canning & Freezing Quick-Guides
Prepared by Extension Professor Catherine Violette, PhD, RD, LD, University of New Hampshire; reproduced with permission.
|Apples||Select crisp, firm apples. Wash, peel, and core. Slice medium apples into twelfths, large apples into sixteenths.
Syrup Pack*: Use 40 percent cold syrup. To prevent browning, add 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. Start with 1/2 cup cold syrup in a pint container, add fruit, press fruit down, and add syrup to cover. Crumple a small piece of water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down.
Sugar Pack: To prevent darkening, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons water. Sprinkle over fruit. Or, steam apple slices for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Cool and drain. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 quart fruit.
Dry Pack: Follow directions for sugar pack, omitting the sugar. Treated apple slices can also be frozen on a tray and then packed.
Package, leaving head space.** Seal, label, and freeze.
|Blueberries or Huckleberries||Sort. Do not wash. Washing results in a tougher-skinned product.
Dry Pack: Pack into containers, leaving head space.** Or freeze on a tray, then pack. Seal, label and freeze. Wash before using.
|Cranberries||Stem and sort. Wash and drain.
Dry Pack: Pack into containers, leaving head space. Or freeze on a tray, then pack.
Syrup Pack: For syrup pack, cover with cold 50 percent syrup, leaving head space.** Seal, label, and freeze.
|Peaches or Nectarines||Sort, wash, and peel. Select a pack.
Syrup Pack:** Use 40 percent syrup. To prevent darkening, add 1/2 teaspoon (1500 mg) ascorbic acid per quart of syrup. Start with 1/2 cup cold syrup in a pint container, add fruit, press fruit down, and add syrup to cover. Crumple a small piece of water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down.
Sugar Pack: To each quart of prepared fruit (1 1/3 pounds) add 2/3 cup sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved, or let stand 15 minutes. To stop darkening, add 1/4 teaspoon (750 mg) ascorbic acid dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water to each quart of fruit.
Package, leaving head space,** seal, label, and freeze
|Pears||Wash, peel, and core. Slice medium pears into twelfths,large pears into sixteenths.
Syrup Pack:*Heat pears in boiling 40 percent syrup for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Pack pears and cover with cold 40 percent syrup. To stop darkening, add 3/4 teaspoon (2250 mg) ascorbic acid to a quart of cold syrup.
Pack into container leaving head space.** Crumple a small piece of water-resistant paper to hold fruit down. Seal, label, and freeze.
|Rhubarb||Wash, trim, and cut into lengths to fit package. To retain color and flavor, heat rhubarb in boiling water for 1 minute; cool quickly in cold water.
Dry Pack: Pack raw or pretreated rhubarb into containers without sugar.
Syrup Pack:* Pack raw or pretreated rhubarb into containers; cover with cold 40 percent syrup. Pack leaving head space.** Seal, label, and freeze
|Strawberries||Select fully ripe, firm berries. Wash and sort. Hull, leave whole, or slice.
Syrup Pack:*Place whole berries in container and cover with cold 50 percent syrup, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Sugar Pack: Add 3/4 cup sugar to 1 quart whole strawberries and mix. Let stand 15 minutes.
Package, leaving head space.** Seal, label, and freeze.
|Preparing and using syrups
*Syrup Concentrations for Freezing Fruits
|Type of syrup||Sugar||Water|
|10% (very light)||1/2 cup||4 cups|
|20% (light)||1 cup||4 cups|
|30% (medium)||1 3/4 cups||4 cups|
|40% (heavy)||2 3/4 cups||4 cups|
|50% (very heavy)||4 cups||4 cups|
|Directions: Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water. Mix until dissolved. Chill syrup before using.|
To Prevent Darkening
Light-colored fruits are kept from darkening during handling by the addition of ascorbic acid. Use either powdered ascorbic acid (available at drug store or where freezing supplies are sold) or crushed vitamin C tablets. Finely crush vitamin C tablets before use. Fillers in the tablets may make the syrup cloudy. Dissolve in several ounces of cold water; then add it to syrup or fruit.
|** Head Space for Packing Frozen Fruit|| Container with
Wide Top Opening
| Container with
Narrow Top Opening
|Liquid pack (fruit packed in sugar, syrup or water; crushed or puree; juice)||1/2 inch||1 inch||3/4 inch
(1 1/2 inches for juice)
|1 1/2 inches|
|Dry pack (fruit packed without added sugar or liquid)||1/2 inch||1/2 inch||1/2 inch||1/2 inch|
Adapted from E. Andress, J. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Fifth Edition. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension bulletin 989, 2006.
Brand names are included for educational purposes. No endorsement is implied nor is discrimination intended against similar products.
Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
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