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Can You Freeze Cherries?

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By Ross Young

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Cherries are delicious, especially if you can get fresh, in-season cherries. The main problem is that the season is incredibly short so aren’t around for that long, especially if you want to enjoy local produce.

Can You Freeze Cherries?

Yes, you can freeze cherries for up to 6 months. To freeze cherries, you should freeze cherries on a baking tray before bagging them up to avoid them clumping together.

Do Cherries Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Cherries? No

How to Freeze Cherries

5.0 from 1 vote
Course: FruitCuisine: InternationalDifficulty: Easy


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This is My Preferred Method for Freezing Cherries

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  • 1 Handful of Cherries


  • Wash and Pit
    Tip the cherries into a colander and run under cold water giving them a good shake. Pat them dry. You want to ensure they’re as dry as possible before freezing them. Once dry, remove the stone from each cherry.
  • Flash Freeze
    Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, then spread your cherries on it. Try and keep them as apart as possible. Place the tray in the freezer for several hours until the cherries are completely frozen solid.
  • Bag Up
    Once frozen solid, transfer them from the tray into an airtight container or ziplock bag.
  • Final Freeze
    Return them to the freezer; you can use them as and when you want.
Can You Freeze Cherries Whole?

Yes, it is possible to freeze cherries whole with the pip still inside but they will take longer to defrost and cannot be used from frozen. This is why it’s a good idea to remove the pips.

Can You Freeze Rainier Cherries?

Yes, cherries of any variety can be frozen. The only thing to bear in mind in all cases is that you’ll need to remove the stone and then freeze them for up to 6 months.

Can You Freeze Cooked Cherries?

Cooked cherries can be frozen for around 3 months. This works particularly well if you have leftover cherry pie filling, for example. Allow it to cool and then bag it up into portions.

How Long Can You Freeze Cherries?

Frozen cherries will be good for around 6 months. The whole reason for freezing is to extend the life of the cherries. It’s safe to say it works!

Make sure you label your cherries with the date they need to be consumed so they don’t go bad and ultimately go to waste.

How Long Do Cherries Last in the Fridge?

If you keep cherries in a punnet in the fridge then they will last for around 1 week. If you keep them at room temperature, instead, then they will keep for 3 to 4 days.

How Do You Defrost Cherries?

This depends on how you plan on using them. If you throw them in a smoothie or plan on cooking them in a pan to create a sauce or jam, then you don’t need to defrost them.

If, however, you plan on using them in a cake, then it would be a good idea to defrost your cherries.

If you cook them in a cake batter from frozen, they’ll release a lot of moisture which can cause your cake to become quite stodgy and dense. Just place your cherries in a bowl in the fridge and leave to thaw slowly overnight.

You can also try eating them straight from the freezer. They’re effectively round, bite-sized, natural ice lollies.

What to do With Frozen Cherries

Now you’ve got a freezer full of frozen cherries. But, do you even know what to do with them? Here’s what I would recommend:

Cherry Smoothie

Just toss the frozen cherries directly into your blender along with your favourite smoothie ingredients. Using frozen cherries will help create a thick, cold smoothie.

I’ve found that cherries work particularly well with almond milk, Greek yoghurt, a touch of honey, and a drop of vanilla extract.

Make Frozen Mixed Berry Packs

I love preparing a load of different berries and cherries and then freezing them in mixed packs that can be tipped into a blender with a dollop of yoghurt for a quick and easy berry smoothie – no need to defrost!

Cherry Sauce for Meat

This one might seem a bit unconventional, but trust me, a cherry sauce can add a great contrast to grilled or roasted meats, especially pork, duck or game.

In a saucepan, combine frozen cherries with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and some fresh thyme. Cook it down until you have a thick, sweet sauce. The cherries don’t need to be defrosted in advance – they’ll just take a little longer to break down than fresh cherries, usually only 5 minutes extra.

Cherry Crisp or Crumble

For a comforting dessert, try making a cherry crisp or crumble. Mix the frozen cherries with some sugar and some corn flour (which will help thicken the juices), then top with oats, butter, flour, and sugar.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly. The cherries can go frozen, as they’ll heat up and break down in the oven.

Cherry Ice Cream or Sorbet

You can make cherry ice cream or sorbet if you’re lucky enough to have an ice cream maker.

Puree the frozen cherries in a blender or food processor (no need to defrost them), then mix them with your ice cream or sorbet base. Churn according to your machine’s instructions.

Cherry Compote for Pancakes or Waffles

If you’re a fan of breakfast sweets, consider making a cherry compote. Like with the cherry sauce, combine the frozen cherries with sugar in a saucepan, and cook until the cherries have broken down and the liquid has thickened.

I like to add in some vanilla extract or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

This compote can be served warm or cold, and works well on pancakes, waffles, or even a bowl of oatmeal.

Overnight Cherry Chia Pudding

This is a great, healthy breakfast or dessert option. Combine chia seeds, almond milk, agave syrup and your frozen cherries. The cherries will thaw overnight, releasing juices that flavour the chia pudding.

Remember, frozen cherries might take longer to cook in recipes where fresh cherries are usually called for. Generally, I add 5 minutes when using frozen cherries in a pan and 10 minutes when using frozen cherries in an oven-based dish.

Can You Refreeze Cherries? 

I avoid refreezing cherries. It can draw too much moisture out from them; with that moisture loss, you will also lose flavour.

Instead, try to freeze them in a way that allows you to easily grab a handful of cherries at a time to avoid the need for refreezing at all.

Do Cherries Freeze Well?

You’ll be hard-pushed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen cherries.

After an extended period, there’s a small chance that a frozen cherry’s texture will change compared to its fresh version, so try to consume them within that 6-month window.

For that reason, I’d say cherries (along with other soft fruits) do freeze pretty well.


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