Keeping Your Berries

Berries taste best when you eat them the same day you buy them, but if long-term is what you need, here are some tips.


Storage

+ enlarge image Long after summer has disappeared, you will still be able to enjoy the season's berries.

For short-term storage, keep berries refrigerated. Store them in a single layer, loosely covered, and refrigerate for a day or two. Heaping fresh berries on top of each other in a bowl can crush the fruit. For longer storage, freezing is best. Place the berries in a single layer on a baking pan and place them in the freezer. Once they're frozen, put the berries in freezer containers or plastic freezer bags and seal. Stored this way, berries will keep in the freezer for up to a year.

Steps for Freezing

Boysenberries and strawberries should be frozen, not canned.

1. Do not wash them.

2. Spread them out on a tray lined with waxed paper.

3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze.

4. When frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic container. Freeze up to 3 months.

Steps for Canning

1. Allow 3/4 to 1 pound of berries per pint. Can or freeze blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, and raspberries.

2. Prepare the canning syrup. Choose the syrup that best suits the fruit and your taste. Generally, heavier syrups are used with very sour fruits, and lighter syrups are recommended for mild-flavored fruits. To prepare syrup, place the specified amounts of sugar and water in a large sauce pan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Skim off foam, if necessary. Use the syrup hot for canned fruits and chilled for frozen fruits. Allow 1/2- to 2/3- cup syrup for each 2 cups of fruit.

Type of Syrup Sugar Water Yield
Very thin 1 cup 4 cups 4 cups
Thin 1-2/3 cup 4 cups 4-1/4 cups
Medium 2-2/3 cups 4 cups 4-2/3 cups
Heavy 4 cups 4 cups 5-3/4 cups

3. Fill jars with blackberries, loganberries, mulberries, or raspberries. Shake down gently. Add boiling syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process half-pints for 15 minutes and pints for 20 minutes.

4. Simmer blueberries, gooseberries, and huckleberries in water for 30 seconds; drain. Fill jars with berries and hot syrup, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Process half-pints for 15 minutes and pints for 20 minutes.

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