Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Raspberries (HNI13)


October 8, 2014 - Author: Linda Huyck


Recommended varieties

Select Latham, Royalty and September for fresh use and jams. Select Cumberland (black) and September for freezing.

Storage and food safety

  • Avoid choosing bruised and damaged fruit.

  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Wash fruit thoroughly under cool running water. Do not use soap.

  • Store fruit in the refrigerator at or below 41 °F.

  • Keep raspberries in a box with holes and cover with plastic wrap, or put in a plastic bag with holes.

  • Keep fruit away from raw meats and meat juices to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Use fresh berries within 1 to 2 days.

  • Store canned berries in a cool dry area for up to one year.

  • For best quality and nutritive value, preserve only what your family can consume in 12 months.


1 pint fresh = 1 pint frozen
12 poinds = 7 quarts canned
8 pounds = 9 pints canned
1 quart = 1 3/4 pounds
1 pint = 1 3/4 cups

How to Preserve


Select fully ripe, juicy berries. Sort, wash in cold water and drain thoroughly. You may freeze raspberries following any of these procedures:

Sugar pack method: Place berries in containers and cover with cold, very heavy (50 percent) syrup (1 cup water to 1 cup sugar), leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze.

Unsweetened pack method: Put berries into containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze.

Pectin pack method: (This alternative uses pectin and less sugar than the sugar pack method and retains fresh berry flavor, color and texture.) In a saucepan, combine one 1 3/4-ounce box of powdered pectin with 1 cup water. Stir and boil 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat; add cold water to make 2 cups of syrup. Chill. Put prepared fruit in a 4- to 6-quart bowl; add enough pectin syrup to glaze the fruit with a thin film. Gently fold fruit to coat each piece with syrup. Pack into freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze.


Choose ripe but firm berries with uniform color. After canning, raspberries will have a soft texture. Wash 1 to 2 quarts of berries at a time; drain. You may can berries in water, apple or white grape juice, or syrup. Prepare syrup if desired. Measure and mix the necessary amounts of sugar and water to make the desired syrup. (For medium syrup, add 1 3/4 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water; for heavy syrup, add 2 3/4 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water.) NOTE: Splenda is the only sugar substitute that you can use when canning fruit. You may need to experiment to determine a preferred level of sweetness. Add 1/2 cup of hot liquid to each hot, clean jar. Fill jars with raw berries, shaking down gently while filling. Cover with hot liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling-water bath:

Processing Times

Style of pack Jar size Under 1,000 ft. 1,001-3,000 ft. 3,001-6,000 ft. Above 6,000 ft.
Hot pack Pints  15 min. 20 min.  20 min. 25 min. 
Quarts 20 min. 

20 min. 

20 min.  25 min.
Raw pack Pints 15 min. 

20 min. 

20 min. 25 min.
Quarts 20 min. 25 min.  30 min. 35 min.


Raspberry syrup (makes about 9 half-pints)


6 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries
6 3/4 cups sugar

Sort berries and wash carefully in cold water. In a saucepan, crush berries. Heat to boiling and simmer 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Strain hot fruit through a colander, and drain until cool enough to handle. Strain the collected juice through a double layer of cheese cloth or a jelly bag. Discard the dry pulp. The yield of the pressed juice should be about 4 1/2 to 5 cups. In a large saucepan, combine the juice with sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute. To make syrup with whole fruit pieces, save 1 or 2 cups of the fresh or frozen fruit, combine these with the sugar and simmer as in making syrup without fruit pieces. Remove from heat, skim off foam and fill hot, clean half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling-water bath for recommended time.

Raspberry freezer jam (7 half-pints)


3 cups prepared fruit
5 1/2 cups sugar
One 1 3/4-ounce box powdered pectin
3/4 cup water

Sort berries and wash carefully in cold water. Drain. Crush fully ripe berries one layer at a time. If desired, sieve half of pulp to remove some of the seeds. In a large bowl, mix prepared fruit with sugar. Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a saucepan, combine pectin with water. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Mix fruit with pectin mixture. Stir for 3 minutes. Ladle jam into freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace and cover. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set. Label, date and store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks or in the freezer for up to one year.

Cooked raspberry jelly (6 half-pints)


4 cups prepared juice (about 2 1/2 quarts fully ripe redraspberries)
5 1/2 cups sugar
One 1 3/4-ounce box powdered pectin

Sort berries and wash carefully in cold water. Thoroughly crush berries one layer at a time. Place crushed fruit in jelly bag or two layers of cheese cloth and let drip. When dripping has almost stopped, press gently. Measure 4 cups juice into a large pan. Measure sugar and set aside. Mix pectin and juice and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the sugar all at once. Stir and return to a full boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam and ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling-water bath for the recommended time.

Recommended process times in boiling-water bath canner

Product Style of pack Jar size Under 1,000 ft. 1,001-6,000 ft. Above 6,000 ft.
Raspberry syrup Hot Half-pints and pints 10 min. 15 min. 20 min.
Raspberry jelly Hot Half-pints 5 min. 10 min. 15 min.

For more recipes, see:

Complete Guide to Home Canning (Rev. ed.). 2009. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Available at http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html.


How much should I buy? CYFC064. Michigan State University Extension.

Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th Edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.

Watch Your Garden Grow. University of Illinois Extension. Available at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/.

More information

Prepared by: Linda Huyck, MSU Extension educator


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