Freezing expert and author Justine Pattison says: “This freezing method is best when you are going to be cooking the strawberries from frozen for jam, pies and crumbles or when the strawberries are fully thawed and then whizzed into a purée for making cheesecakes, mousses, fools and soufflés. The texture on thawing will be very soft.”
How to freeze strawberries
Put your freezer setting on 'Fast Freeze' at least two hours before adding the strawberries, or clear some space in the rapid freezing section/coldest part of your freezer. Freezing the strawberries quickly will help them retain as much of the flavour and texture as possible.
- Wash your strawberries lightly by placing in a colander and rinsing under the cold tap for a few seconds.
- Drain on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel and pat dry. Ensuring the strawberries are dry when frozen will prevent ice crystals forming on the outside of the berries and causing damage to the delicate cell structure.
- Hull the strawberries by pinching out the green stalk end. (It’s important to do this after washing so the strawberries don’t fill with water.)
- Place the strawberries, base side down and a little bit apart, on a baking tray lined with cling film, freezer film or baking parchment.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours or until solid. Fast freeze can be turned down after this.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and place the frozen strawberries in a labelled freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing tightly.
- Return to the freezer for up to 4 months.
How to defrost strawberries
Take as many strawberries as you need from the freezer bag and put in a bowl. To use raw, cover and place in the fridge to thaw for several hours or overnight.
Defrosting slowly will help the strawberries remain firmer than quickly defrosting at room temperature. To use cooked, add to your pan or dish from frozen. Return the rest of the strawberries to the freezer.
Our thanks to Sweet Eve strawberries for these tips.
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