How to tell.
Soft & Squishy, Firm and Bouncy?
If the cranberries you purchased are frozen and you find them kind of squishy once thawed, that’s okay. They will have a soft texture and are just fine for cooking and baking. Many berries and fruit soften once they are thawed. This is why adding frozen cranberries to recipes is often recommended as they get all squishy in the recipe anyway.
Cranberries that were just bought at the store and were fresh but seem soft are past the ripened stage, and these berries should be thrown away or discarded somehow.
Fresh cranberries are usually available during the months of September-December, which is peak time for cranberry picking. Buying extra berries when in season and freezing them is the best way to ensure you have quality berries for your recipes throughout the year.
If the cranberries you are about to pick are a crimson red or a bright red then that’s a good sign that they are ripe. A green cranberry, like a banana, is not yet ready. A dark purple color means it’s too late.
Cranberries have a famous test. It’s called the bounce test. What you do is take a cranberry and drop it onto a hard enough surface and see if it bounces. It should.
Ripe cranberries are springy and not firm or soft. Try bouncing a few cranberries on the table to see if they are ripe or not.
The sound should be a type of ‘boing’ sound. I know that’s not very scientific but you get the picture.
So the answer to the question is yes, it should be somewhat firm, but also springy or spongy so that the berry has some give to it when you squeeze it.
Hope this Helps.