Strawberries these days can be bought and consumed all year around. The trouble with strawberries bought out of season though is that they often taste woody and have very little strawberry flavour.
Freezing strawberries in season for use later in the year is quite easy.
There are two main ways to freeze strawberries.
One uses a dry sugar pack and one uses a syrup pack.
Obviously better quality and really fresh strawberries will freeze much better than cheaper out of date stocks and give great results.
It's no good buying cheap or tasteless strawberries. To make the effort of freezing strawberries fully worthwhile pick good, healthy, fresh and tasty fruit.
So having bought or picked the most plumptious strawberries here is what to do:
TO DRY-SUGAR PACK
Cut your strawberries in half, quarters or just slice them. Wash them and place into a bowl or shallow pan. If you prefer the strawberries can be crushed rather than sliced.
Sprinkle between a third and a quarter of a cup of sugar over your strawberries. You need to use this amount for every quart of fruit. Just keep turning the strawberries over, as gently as you can, in the sugar until the sweetener is all dissolved.
Once the sugar has completely dissolved pack your strawberries into a suitable container and freeze as quickly as possible.
TO SYRUP PACK
To one cup of sugar add one and a half cups of either hot or cold water. If you use hot water you will need to let it cool before use or alternatively chill it.
Pack the whole, or sliced, washed strawberries into a suitable container and pour about a half a cup of the prepared syrup, to one pint of strawberries, over the packed fruit.
When you have done this, seal the container and freeze as soon as possible.
There is a third, less popular, option which does not have such good results and this is Freezing unsweetened Strawberries.
FREEZING UNSWEETENED STRAWBERRIES
This one appeals to me as I never add sugar to fresh strawberries. To my mind they are sweet enough and the flavour is better if no sugar is added.
Prepare the strawberries as before.
What you are going to do this time is cover the berries with water or some sort of berry juice. If you have crushed the strawberries you can cover them with their own juice. If possible add ascorbic acid to the liquid which will cover the strawberries, or to the strawberries themselves. This will help the strawberries keep their fresh red colour.
Ascorbic acid can be bought in some supermarkets but more easily from a Chemist or Pharmacist.
The syrup pack or dry sugar pack will give your strawberries the best results as far as colour and taste go. However the result will obviously be sweet and I would think too sweet for me. The choice of how to freeze really depends on what you want to use the strawberries for.
Strawberry recipes here
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