My childhood consisted of long summer nights barefoot in the backyard with a small clear container in one hand and the lid in the other. I was a boy on a mission to capture enough lighting bugs to illuminate a small a-frame tent pitched in the field. In many ways, it was as if I was trying to capture summer for just a bit longer.
I’m now much older and have a strange fascination for a good pair of Converse shoes. My idea of extending summer comes in the form of preserving the season’s bounty before mean old Jack Frost casts his cold spell on Pittsburgh.
Blueberry season is quickly coming to an end in my area. After my blueberry picking excursion a few weeks ago, I decided to brush up on the best ways to freeze this tiny super fruit. Thankfully, I’ve been able to condense the process down to five simple steps for your reading pleasure.
5 Steps to Perfectly Frozen Blueberries
Step #1: I know this may seem odd, but I don’t recommend rinsing the blueberries before freezing them. The excess water causes the skins to crystallize making them tough when defrosted. You will see I recommend rinsing during the defrosting process. If you are uncomfortable with this step, just make sure your berries are well drained and dry before freezing.
Step #2: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. The pan should have at least a half-inch lip around the edge. The parchment paper helps to prevent the berries from sticking to the pan.
Step #3: Spread the berries on the parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer. While the berries can touch, it’s best to avoid overcrowding.
Step #4: Allow the berries to freeze solid for 2-3 hours in the sheet pan. They can then be transferred to a large zip lock bag to save freezer space.
Step #5: Defrost the berries by running them under lukewarm water. This also rinses the berries at the same time.
Finally, enjoy them in your favorite recipe. I’m a huge fan of blueberry sauce poured over pancakes or angel food cake.