We are often asked – Can you Freeze Cherries – yes you can!
Cherries are very easy to freeze. There are two methods and it just depends on your preferences. Both work great and the cherries will keep for months either way.
Method 1 (Easiest Method for Freezing Cherries)
The easiest way to freeze cherries is to wash them, blot them dry gently with a paper towel and then arrange them on a cookie sheet. Place them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take and seal them in zip-loc bags and place them back in the freezer. You can pull them out at any time to eat them. We’ve found it best to let them thaw for a few minutes before trying to eat them. If you have small children, it is a good idea to pit the cherries first. If you do not have small children, and choose not to pit them, just remember the pits are in them, and very hard. If you try to bite through, you will probably break a tooth, so use caution. If you plan on using them in smoothies, or blended drinks, it is also easier to pit them first. See here for our cherry pitter suggestions and reviews.
For this method of freezing cherries, you will need plastic containers, with lids. The best size are those that hold about a cup. This is a great way to recycle old containers that held butter, spreads, or the like. Any plastic, food safe container, in the 1 – 2 cup range, with a lid will work.
You will need sugar, water and cherries. With this recipe, we make a very light sugar syrup. Cherries are very, very sweet, so we recommend using as little as possible sugar as you can get away with, and still enjoy. We recommend a 1 to 4 ratio.
Wash 4 cups of cherries and gently blot dry. Pit if you wish, or if you have small children who will be eating them later.
To prepare the syrup, measure out 4 cups of water into a pot. Add one cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the cherries and bring back to a boil. Turn off heat. Allow to cool for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Gently ladle the cherries and liquid into containers. Allow to cool to room temperature. Gently place in freezer. After completely frozen, pull out and let thaw for a few minutes, enjoy! If you’ve left the pits in, just remember to be careful when eating not to bite into one!
If you are diabetic, you can substitute a sweetener for the sugar. In our experience, because sweeteners generally are much sweeter than sugar, we use half the amount. So, for every 4 cups of water, we use 1/2 cup of sweetener. You can also try freezing without any sugar. Just boil the water, add the cherries, bring back to a boil and then ladle out when cool enough to work with. Freeze.