Anyone who has a plum tree in his garden knows that there are never just a few ripe plums. Some fruit trees ripen slowly and each fruit ripens according to its rhythm. This is not always the case with plum trees. All the fruit on a plum tree ripens at the same time, and more fruit is harvested than you can eat in one sitting. If you have too many, it is good to know if plums can be frozen.
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Is it possible to freeze plums?
The easiest way to use excess fruit is to freeze the ripe plums, apart from sharing them with friends and family. When ripe summer plums are frozen, their flavor is preserved, so you can enjoy them later in the year. Plus, you can store ripe plums for later preparation when you have more time or cooler weather and are more ready to turn on the hot oven.
Plums can stay frozen long enough, but it also depends on how you froze them. Frozen, raw (whole) and prepared fruit can be used for up to 6 months without losing color or texture. However, plums frozen in syrup or compote can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. To make your frozen plums or plum slices last longer than 6 months, you can also put them in syrup. In this way, you can enjoy your favorite fruit and the dishes prepared with it all year round. You can also freeze the fruit in ready-made dishes such as crumble or jam.
To freeze raw plums, you need to make sure that they are ripe, sweet and juicy enough. To this end, you can test one of the plums from the lot before proceeding. They should not be green, overripe, hard, too grainy, or have spots or wrinkles. Plums that are not yet ripe can be kept at room temperature for a few days to allow them to ripen. This is important so that the fruit does not lose flavor and texture when thawed later.
Freezing fresh plums for cakes
With this method, simply cut the plums in half, remove the pit and freeze the fruit:
To do this, you just need to rinse them well to get rid of any dirt.
- Remove the stone
Cut them in half and remove the stone.
- Pack and freeze
Place the plums in a thick freezer bag. Then you need to remove the air from the bag and put it in the freezer.
Freeze plums without loss of flavor.
If you prefer to freeze your plums in wedges or slices , the best way to proceed is as follows:
To freeze plums, you will need to carefully rinse and wipe the fruit to remove any dirt.
Next, you can slice the plums into the desired shape and remove the seeds and stems. Once you have sliced all the fruit, you will need to spread them out on a baking sheet without overlapping.
Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the plums until they are hard and dry.
Once they are firm, you can place all the plums in a freezer bag and fill it to the top.
- Freeze again
Then vent the bag, seal it airtight and place it in the freezer.
How to thaw plums without pits?
When it’s time to thaw your plums, you need to think about what you’re going to use them for. For smoothies, you can use frozen plum slices straight from the freezer. For pies or cakes, thaw the plums in the refrigerator first and then drain off the excess liquid before using them for baking.
Freeze plums with pit
- Wash the plums
Wash the plums by gently rubbing the skins under cold running water. Do not try to freeze too many plums at once. The fruit should freeze completely within 24 hours.
- Pack in plastic containers
Pack whole fruit in plastic containers, leaving 1.5 to 2.5 inches of space between the fruit and the top of the container.
- Add a solution
If you like, add a syrup mixture of 3 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water to cover the fruit.
Note that it is not necessary to pack the plums in syrup – they freeze well if you freeze the whole fruit. If you omit the syrup mixture, you can also save on the added sugar.
- Seal and freeze
Place lids on plastic containers and freeze immediately at -18 °C or below.
Thawing frozen plums with pits
- In the refrigerator: about 6 to 8 hours per 500 g of fruit.
- In the microwave with the defrost setting: Turn the package over to thaw evenly.
- Under cold running water: wait 1/2 to 1 hour.
- To easily peel the thawed fruit, score the bottom of the plums with a paring knife with a small “X”. Place the scored fruit in a pot of boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds, then transfer to a pot filled with ice water. Once the plums have cooled, the skin will peel off easily.