Learn how to Freeze Gooseberries the easy way after picking them fresh from your garden or after returning from the Farmer's Market with your haul of fresh green juicy plump gooseberries. Gooseberry season is very short and they freeze really well.
The best time to pick Gooseberries is July or August. I picked mine in mid-July as I wanted them to taste a little sweeter for making tarts and pies or simply stewed in a little water and a dash of sugar to combat any slight tartness. Give them a gentle squeeze to test for ripeness.
Because we love Gooseberries I was inspired by my Gooseberry and Apple Crumble recipe on my other website Traditional Home Baking to grow a couple of Gooseberry bushes in our garden and freeze the produce to use throughout the year.
To make this job easier, I used a couple of large clean tea towels. A large colander to rinse and clean the Gooseberries. A couple of small plastic food trays or baking trays that were small enough to fit into the freezer/freezer drawers and a few freezer bags
How to Freeze Gooseberries
How to Clean Gooseberries - Remove the stalks and remains of the Gooseberry blossom from each fruit. This is known as Topping and Tailing and can be a tedious job if you have a large amount of fruit. But you don't want these inedible bits in your jams or puddings, so put some music on and get to work. It will be worth it in the end.
Wash and Dry - Thoroughly wash and remove all dust and dirt from the fruit and discard any badly bruised berries. Pat the fruit dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to avoid any remaining water being frozen.
Spread out on a Tray - Once the Gooseberries are dry, place them out on a fresh tea towel spread across a plastic tray or baking sheet as this will help to absorb any remaining water. Make sure the tray will fit into your freezer.
Freeze - Cover the fruit with the edges of the tea towel and place the tray of berries into the freezer for several hours preferable overnight.
Bagging up - The following day, remove the tray of frozen Gooseberries from the freezer and gently release them from the tea towel and release any berries that may be stuck together. If needed portion them out as to how you are going to use them. eg how many you will need to make crumbles and pies etc. Label them accordingly.
Return to the Freezer - Once they are bagged up, return them back to the freezer before they begin to thaw out.
Top Tip - Rather than use one large freezer bag I've used a variety of smaller sizes. This reduces the number of times the unused fruit is exposed to potential unnecessary defrosting.
Tips and FAQ's for Freezing Gooseberries
Freeze them individually on food trays in the freezer. Then bag them up into freezer bags.
Yes. Freezing Gooseberries is very easy. Follow the above instructions and freeze them.
Give them a gentle squeeze. If they give a little, they are ready to pick. For extra sweetness leave them a little longer before picking.
There is no need to defrost gooseberries if using them to make pies, crumbles or tarts. Just add them straight away. Depending on their tartness and the recipe you are using, you may need to add a little sugar.
Gooseberries will keep for up to a year or two in the freezer. Label them well with the date they were frozen. They may become a little mushy and some of the fruit may burst during the thawing process, that's because some of the juice inside the fruit will have expanded during the freezing process and burst the skins from the inside.