Tips For Freezing Fruit And Berries

Because I love baking pies, I also love having a plentiful supply of fruit and berries on hand, prepared and ready to go.

I got on a freezer cooking kick recently, so decided that along with the meals I was freezing, I’d try my hand at pie fillings. There are a few things to do to prepare the fruit and berries for freezing. I thought I’d share what I learned with you here.


1)  Wash and dry your canning jars, lids, and rings and set aside. I prefer to use wide-mouth jars because they’re easier to fill, but regular jars work, too. You just have to make sure you cut the fruit small enough to fit.

2)  Choose and prepare your fruit. Make sure it is not underripe or overripe. Wash, peel if desired, remove pits, seeds, and cut out any blemishes.

3)  Add sugar, either granulated or simple syrup, to help retain the color, flavor, and texture. You may want to add some sort of ascorbic acid, too, which will keep the fruit from turning dark. You can buy a citric acid to mix in with the dry sugar or in the syrup. If you don’t want to buy a packaged product, mix in a bit of lemon juice. It won’t hurt and it usually helps.

  • Granulated sugar:  Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit in a bowl. Use your own taste buds to determine how sweet you want the fruit. Gently stir the fruit and let sit until the fruit juices form. Spoon into jars or other freezer containers, allowing about 3/4 to 1 inch head room. Seal tightly and freeze.
  • Simple syrup:  Most people use about a 40% simple syrup. But, again, you’ll want to adjust that to fit the fruit. If the fruit is sour or very tart, make a heavier syrup. For a delicate, sweeter fruit, use a lighter syrup. To make a 40% syrup you’ll need about 3 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, turn to low, and let simmer until the mixture thickens. Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to the fruit. Fill your jars with the cut fruit, then pour in the cooled syrup, leaving about 3/4 to 1 inch of head room. Take a narrow knife and slide it between the fruit and jar inside to relieve air bubbles, then add more syrup if needed. Seal the jars and freeze.
  • Natural juices:  If you don’t want to add sugar to the fruit, you can use the fruit’s own juice, other fruit juice, or even water with ascorbic acid added if needed. Fruit frozen without sugar will lose their color and quality faster, but they also give you the opportunity to eat fruit that is not sweetened or add the sugar when you prepare the filling for pie.


Berries are also perfect for the freezer. I’ve found that the best method for freezing berries is to leave them whole, spread them out on a baking sheet, put them in the freezer, and freeze them. Then transfer the frozen berries to containers. Berries freeze just fine without any sugar or liquid added.

In the Freezer

  • You want to make sure you maintain a steady ‘deep freeze’ in your freezer. That means around a Zero degree F temperature.
  • Mark the date clearly on the containers and use the fruit or berries up before a year passes. That never seems to be a problem in our house. A freezer full of fruit and berries for pie filling is picked clean by the next summer!

I hope these tips help you get some fruit and berries in the freezer. Whether you use them for pies, sauce, or just to eat right out of the jar, I know you’ll enjoy the sweet taste of summer coming right out of your freezer.

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