With Sharon Peterson
Freezing raspberries is probably the best way to preserve red raspberries for later. Red raspberries are fragile berries, and although I have not tried it, others say they don’t hold up well to canning. Raspberry jam, on the other hand, is a totally different story!
I also freeze and can black raspberries. Black raspberries are a little firmer than the red variety and work for either preservation method. I’ve got pictures of both on this page, but the method is just the same for either red or black…and for other berries as well.
When freezing raspberries, you have a couple of options. To prepare your berries, simply pick your berries and rinse them if needed. Remove any that are moldy or old.
Freezing Raspberries: Dry Pack with No Sugar
Dry packaging in a Ziplock bag is the easiest way to freeze berries, and it’s the way I do mine.
Spread the berries on a piece of freezer paper or parchment paper in a single layer. Place this in the freezer, and when the berries are frozen, you can take the tray out of the freezer and transfer your berries to freezer bags. I recommend no larger than quart-size bags. The berries will be single frozen, and you can take them out to use them in the quantity you desire.
Another way to dry pack while freezing raspberries is to skip the flat layer option and just put the cleaned berries in a Ziplock bag to start with. The berries tend to freeze together and may become one big chunk. But if you know you have recipes that use a specific amount of berries, you can premeasure that amount to freeze and use later.
Freezing Raspberries with Sugar
Both of the previous methods add no sugar. If you like a little sugar, you can freeze raspberries with sugar instead.
Sprinkle the raspberries with sugar and place in a freezer bag. The raspberries will get juicy with the addition of the sugar. Amount is according to taste, so you might want to start with 1/2 cup sugar for each quart of raspberries. Then you can add more or less as you find what you like. Be gentle as you mix in the sugar, as the raspberries are very soft and fragile and will mush up if you are too vigorous.
Make a sugar syrup by heating water with the desired amount of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Again, amount of sugar is according to taste. A very light syrup would be 1 cup sugar to 2 quarts water. You can add more or less as you like.
Then cool this syrup off completely before adding your berries. GENTLY stir in the berries. You don’t want to break the raspberries up. Place in freezer bags or other freezer containers. Be sure and leave a couple inches of headspace to allow for expansion as the mixture freezes.