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Kitchen Tip

4TH OF JULY SPECIAL: AMERICAN DESSERTS

June 30, 1996|ABBY MANDEL

Now that blueberries are here, it's a good idea to freeze some for the winter months, when you need a jolt of summer. Commercially frozen blueberries are far less desirable than those you freeze yourself.

Here's how: Spread the berries on a jellyroll pan, sorting through them to discard stems, leaves and soft or spoiled berries. Freeze the berries just like that, exposed on the pan. As soon as they are frozen solid (which takes no more than two hours), put them into a plastic food bag, tie it airtight, then enclose that bag in another plastic bag, again tying it airtight.

This method ensures that the berries don't absorb off-odors from the freezer. They also remain separate, so you can use just a few at a time without thawing the rest. Don't thaw frozen blueberries before mixing them into your recipes or they become mushy. But using frozen berries might mean adding a few minutes to the cooking or baking time.

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