I know you love strawberry shortcake, but you don’t want to eat it every night (or do you?). But the strawberry season is short, and you want to make the most of it. So why not freeze some for later?
Strawberries can be frozen sweetened or not, depending on how you want to use them. Berries frozen without sugar will be soft when defrosted, so they work best for smoothies, shakes or making into jams and other spreads. For shortcake, prepare the berries as you normally would (e.g. sliced, with sugar) and freeze them in portion-sized containers.
For other uses, try a little sugar. Not only will it help the berry retain its shape and texture, but it will also enhance the taste once defrosted. Mixing the sugar with pectin will keep the berries even firmer. 1 package (about 3 tablespoons) pectin is enough to mix with 3 cups of sugar (you can use less, but the pectin will add a little tartness), which is enough to preserve 3 gallons of sliced berries.
Mix the sugar and pectin in a large bowl. For whole berries, dip each one into the mixture, completely coating. Set berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Package in freezer bags or rigid containers. Whole berries without sugar are frozen in the same manner.
Sliced berries can be mixed in with the sugar and pectin. Stir enough to dissolve sugar, then pack in freezer containers. Once thawed, the berries will hold their shape for several days without becoming mushy.