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Working with frozen berries

When it comes to working with food photography, there is a real trend with frozen berries. And why not? They look amazing — there is something special when they achieve that ‘frosty’ look.

What fruit can you use?

Pretty much any berry that is in season; strawberry, blackberry, loganberry, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry and even grapes and cherries. I am sure there are a few more you could add to that list too.

So what’s the secret?

It’s really not much of a secret. Place dry fresh fruit in the freezer for a day or so, to get really frozen. And I do mean dry fresh fruit, not the frozen pre-packaged goods — they tend to come out looking dry and shriveled. Those are fine for eating yes, but not very good for photography.

If you do wash your fruit first, make sure they are completely dry and room temperature before putting in the freezer. If they are wet they can form droplets and get freezer burnt. It is also a great idea to spread them out a little. Try something like a lined baking tray or ice cube tray.

When to use them

Pretty much whenever you want. Set your scene up first and then when you feel the need to dress up a plate or bowl of food, add your frozen berries on a cheesecake, cupcakes, fruit smoothies and yogurt crumbles. Trust me — it does not take long for them to thaw, especially in the summer months. It does not take long for the warmer air temperature to ‘frost’ your berries giving them that sparkling appearance that looks so good.

Tips

Only use cold metal tongs to carefully move the frozen berries around, do NOT use fingers, as the warmth from your fingers will damage the frosting and leave fingerprints. Want your berries to frost up quicker? Use a straw and gently blow warm air over them.

Is it OK to eat frozen berries? Sure is — they actually thaw quite quickly, especially if you are photographing them.

So next time you are creating some magic with food, why not add some frozen berries?

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