If this is your first time freezing or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Freezing Information before beginning.  

1. Selection & Ingredients

  • Select fresh, mature, firm fruit free of soft spots. Do not use fruit that show signs of decay or mold.

2. Equipment

  • Cooking pot (if using liquid pack method)
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Ruler/headspace tool
  • Use clean packing containers and materials that are moisture and vapor-proof/resistant:
  • Rigid containers (glass jars and hard plastic containers) are especially good for freezing foods with liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly.
    • Square or rectangular, straight-sided rigid plastic containers make the best use of freezer space.
    • Wide-mouth, dual-purpose glass jars made for canning and freezing are tempered to withstand extremes in temperature and allow for easier removal of partially-thawed foods.
    • Narrow-mouth dual-purpose glass jars can also be used but require greater headspace (to avoid expansion breakage at the shoulder) and foods must be completely thawed before removal.
  • Flexible bags or wrappings (plastic freezer bags, freezer paper and heavyweight aluminum foil) are best for freezing food products with little or no liquid.
  • Vacuum packaging removes more oxygen than other freezing methods (Refer to manufacturer's instructions.)

3. Prepare Equipment

  • Before use, wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry.

4. Prepare Fruit

  • Thoroughly wash citrus fruit.
  • Section or slice fruit, and peel.
  • Divide fruit into sections, removing all membranes and seeds.

5. Pack

  • Syrup Pack: Pack in 40% sugar syrup or in fruit juice, adding ½ teaspoon crystalline ascorbic acid per quart of syrup or juice.
    • For 40% syrup, combine 2 ¾ cup sugar with 4 cups hot water to make 5 1/3 cups of syrup. Allow hot syrup to cool before use.

Leave ½-1 ½ inch headspace, depending on shape of container.

  • Liquid Pack includes fruits packed in juice, sugar, syrup or water, plus crushed or pureed fruit or juice.
  • Dry Pack includes fruits or vegetables packed without added sugar or liquid. 

 

Headspace for Freezing Fruits
Type of Pack Container with wide top opening Container with narrow top opening Flexible bags and wraps
  Pint Quart Pint Quart Any Size
Liquid Pack ½-inch 1-inch ¾-inch 1 ½-inches Remove as much air as possible
Dry Pack  ½-inch ½-inch ½-inch ½-inch Remove as much air as possible

 

  • Before sealing, make sure sealing edges are free of moisture or food.
  • Include crumpled parchment or other water-resistant wrapping material between the fruit and the lid of liquid-packed fruits to help keep the fruit submerged in the liquid.

6. Store

  • Label with the name of food, date, and type of pack.
  • Freeze packaged fruits as quickly as possible to 0°F or below.
    • For quickest freezing, place containers in single layers in freezer.
  • Most fruits will maintain high quality for 8-12 months at 0°F or below.
    • Longer storage will not make the food unfit for use, but may impair its quality.