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How to care for fresh berries

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Choose plump, fragrant berries without bruises, mold or rot. America's favorite berries, in order of preference, are strawberries, followed by blueberries and raspberries.

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After a brief simmering, mixed berries are placed in a bread-lined bowl. Bread is brushed with fruit syrup, then the pudding is "sealed" with more bread.

Strawberries

Look for bright green, moist green "crowns" without evidence of mold. Rinse strawberries under cool water, with stems on. (Leaving the stems in place helps to keep water from getting inside the fruit). Allow strawberries to air dry or dry on paper towels. Once dry remove, stems and place on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, then place baking sheet in freezer. As soon as berries are frozen, pack in freezable containers and seal.

Blueberries

Some folks don't wash blueberries before freezing because doing so can toughen their skins. But, because I often bake with frozen blueberries and add them to batters directly from the freezer, I always rinse and dry the blueberries prior to freezing. (Frozen blueberries that have been allowed to thaw will "bleed" into batters.) After berries are rinsed, air dry or dry on paper towels; remove any stems that remain on the berries. Place berries in as single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 45 minutes before placing baking sheet in the freezer. Once blueberries are frozen, pack in freezable containers and seal.

Raspberries and Blackberries

Gently rinse raspberries or blackberries under a light spray of cool water. Allow them to air dry or dry on paper towels. Once dry, place berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 45 minutes, then place baking sheet in the freezer. As soon as berries are frozen, pack in freezable containers and seal.



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