PYO picking accident: blackberries, raspberries and apples
Any thoughts on preserving? I would like the most versatility. I have 20+ lbs of apples, 5 lbs of blackberries, and 2+ pounds of raspberries. I thought about making freezer jam, but I would prefer something I could put into a pie or use for cobblers or could even make brambles with in dead of winter....
I was thinking about just freezing most of the blackberries, then making an apple blackberry compote. Any thoughts?
blackberries and raspberries freeze just fine, don't wash them first or you will have a block of iced mush. I used to freeze all my soft fruits as I picked them and eventually made jam later in the year.
Wash the blackberries and raspberries gently (I put them in a sink of deep water and swish them around, the dirt goes to the bottom, the fruit floats), dry thoroughly (I use a salad spinner), and freeze on a single layer in a sheet pan. Then, when frozen, take off the sheet (you may need to let the sheet sit out at room temperature for a few minutes for the berries to come off easily) and place into freezer bags.
Then, as needed, thaw gently on the counter or fridge and you'll have berries that work in anything except as a garnish.
If you place berries directly in a bag and freeze they will compact, stick together and lose versatility. The exception to this being blueberries, which, when perfectly dry, can be frozen just by tossing in a bag.
When I freezer berries (or pretty much anything, actually), I freeze them on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on the sheet pan. Then, when I bag them, I can just lift the paper underneath and they release easily without the need to partially thaw them. Also, I kind of fold the paper and use that to funnel the fruit into the bag.