When And How To Pick And Store Raspberries

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This article provides helpful tips and instructions for harvesting and storing raspberries
by Brett · All Zones · Techniques & Methods · 0 Comments · October 15, 2013 · 2,378 views

Basically, raspberries should be picked when the fruit separates easily from the core, which is the part of the berry that is attached to the plant. That being said, black raspberries do not separate from the core so you'll have to judge when they are ripe based on color and taste.

Raspberries are highly perishable after picking so you'll need to harvest and store them frequently. You can harvest most varieties every other day though many heavy-producing varieties might require daily harvesting. When picking your raspberries place them in shallow containers to avoid stacking them too high, which can bruise or crush the fruit.

After you've picked raspberries, to keep them fresh for 3-7 days after picking, keep them cooled to just above freezing at a range from 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storing Raspberries Long Term

Since raspberries are so delicate after being picked it is essential to know how to preserve them. They can be canned, frozen or dried so you can enjoy them year round!

Canning

For best results in canning raspberries, choose fruits that are ripe and uniform in color. This ensures that your finished product will be sweet and consistent. With soft berries, like raspberries, you don’t have to cook the berries before canning. Simply place them in your canning jars and pour hot syrup over them. For sweeter canned berries, use medium syrup. On average, 12 pounds of raspberries yields 7 canned quarts. Use 8 pounds of raspberries for 9 canned pints. To can larger quantities, use 36 pounds of raspberries to yield 18-24 quarts of canned raspberries.

Instructions:

  • Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot.
  • Wash your fruit in cold water to firm them. Do 1 to 2 quarts at a time to prevent injury of the fruit. Drain after washing and make sure to remove any remaining caps and/or stems.
  • Bring the sugar syrup to a boil.
  • Pack berries loosely into your prepared jars and pour boiling hot sugar syrup over them, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive utensil, adding more sugar syrup as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.
  • Process the filled jars in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts) from the point of boiling.
  • Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts.
  • After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two weeks.

Freezing

Raspberries are fruits that freeze incredibly well. They can be frozen whole in sugar pack, syrup pack or unsweetened. Choose raspberries that are very ripe for best results in freezing.

Sugar Pack - To freeze raspberries in sugar pack, simply add 3/4-cup sugar to 1 quart of raspberries. Mix sugar carefully with raspberries to prevent fruit damage. Fill container leaving 1/2-inch headspace, then seal, label and freeze.

Syrup - Freezing raspberries in syrup pack means freezing them in cold 50% syrup. Mix 1-cup sugar to 1-cup water and pour over raspberries in container leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze the same as with sugar pack raspberries.

Unsweetened - To freeze whole raspberries unsweetened, simply wash and drain berries and place into containers leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Label containers and place in freezer.

Drying

For drying raspberries, choose berries that are ripe, but not overly ripe. Because of their seediness, raspberries have a slow drying time. Their dried texture is hard and similar to that of dried peas.

Before drying, wash raspberries and remove any debris. Place individual raspberries on try and dry at lowest setting. For optimum results in dried raspberries, puree the fruit first and then sieve to remove seeds. This allows you to make raspberry fruit leathers or strips, which can be placed in a blender or chopper to make fruit chips. Dried raspberry chips make perfect toppings for both hot and cold breakfast cereals as well as mixed in with other dried fruit snacks.




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