Cherry season only lasts for a few short months so there’s limited time to enjoy this delicious, healthy fruit every year. They remind us of those long Summer days as they make the perfect hot weather treat. It’s enough to make you wish you could enjoy the sweet cherry flavor all year round. But there is a way!
Before cherry season nears its end, buy a few extra pounds of cherries from our orchard here at Lodi Blooms and freeze them to enjoy them any day of the year. So you never miss out!
Why Freeze Cherries?
Freezing cherries is a great way to enjoy their taste throughout the year. Buying them while they’re in season and ripe is both cost-effective and a great way to ensure the fruit is at its freshest. Some of the benefits and great reasons for freezing cherries include the following:
- Preserving the flavor and taste
- Reducing food waste so you only take out what you need
- Controlling what goes into your frozen fruit (no added sugar or additives)
- Preserve the vitamins and nutrients while the cherries are at peak season
Steps on how to freeze cherries?
It’s important to freeze cherries when they are at their freshest point so buying and freezing them during the cherry season will mean you get great results later in the year. Follow these 5 easy steps to get great results:
Step 1 - Wash the cherries
Gently rinse all of the cherries in cold water to remove any dirt and to make sure they’re as clean as possible. The best way to wash all of your cherries thoroughly is to use a colander and stir gently with your hands under running water.
Step 2 - Remove the stems
When you are ready to freeze the cherries remove the stems from the fruit. It’s important to keep these stems on until you’re ready to freeze them as it helps to maintain the freshness longer.
Step 3 - Pit the cherries
It’s easier to pit the cherries before freezing, instead of trying to do it after they’ve been frozen. By doing so beforehand, they are ready to use and be eaten straight away.
We recommend using a cherry pitter to make the process as fast and easy as possible. It can be quite difficult and a lengthy process trying to pit cherries without the proper tools. There are two types of pitters that you can order from our website, which helps to make this an easy step to complete. The first one is for pitting single cherries at a time and the other for pitting multiple cherries at once. This one is best if you intend to freeze a lot of cherries at once.
Either of these tools will work great!
Step 4 - Place the cherries on a baking sheet
The best way to freeze cherries is by placing them individually on a baking sheet after they’ve been pitted. By doing this it stops them from freezing together as a huge block.
If you don’t have space in your freezer to do this, you can put them in a freezer-safe bag. But they will freeze together making them harder to separate later on. So freezing them as one portion size in each bag will reduce any waste from any excess cherries.
Step 5 - Place the cherries in the freezer
It takes about 12 hours to completely freeze cherries. But once they’re fully frozen, you can remove the fruit from the baking sheet and place them into a freezer-safe bag for long term storage. Date the bags so you know how long they have been frozen. Then keep the cherries in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them!
Avoid thawing and freezing the cherries again as this will spoil the fruit. Only take out as much as you need each time and leave the rest in the freezer.
How long will fresh cherries last in the freezer?
Cherries will last in the freezer for around 6 months but will be fine up to a year when properly frozen. This means you can enjoy the sweet taste of cherries year-round, even when the cherry season is over.
How do you defrost frozen cherries?
Not all recipes need cherries to be defrosted for you to use them. Frozen cherries are perfect for smoothies and for other dishes such as ice cream as you can use them straight out of the freezer.
For dishes that require cherries to be defrosted, the correct way to do it is to place the cherries in the fridge to slowly defrost over a few hours. If you need to speed up the process, you can place a sealed bag of cherries in a bowl of water for about 10 to 20 minutes to thaw them out faster.
When using cherries in baking, it is best to let them thaw before you use them as they can make desserts mushy when they’re frozen and not properly thawed out. For jams, it’s possible to use them either way. It just takes a bit longer to cook them from frozen on the stove.
What to make with frozen cherries?
Speaking of recipes, there are plenty of great dishes that you can make with frozen cherries. We’ve got plenty of delicious dishes for you to choose from, with everything from cherry cheesecake to cherry ice cream!
You can find a list of our recipes using these frozen cherries on our website.
Click here to find out more!
Best place to buy cherries for freezing
If you are looking for the best cherries to freeze when they’re in season, Blooms Cherries offers a whole variety of cherries that can be delivered across the USA and straight to your front door within 1-2 days from our Orchards. Or if you’re local, you can pick them up!
Cherry season is only a few short months away! Keep up to date with the latest Orchard reports to find out how our trees are progressing this year. Or the latest blog posts to find out when Cherry season starts!