How to freeze plums?
Anyone with a plum tree in their yard knows that there are never just a few ripe plums. Some fruit trees ripen slowly, with each fruit ripening at its rate. That is not always the case with plum trees. All of the fruit on a plum tree ripens simultaneously, and it yields more plums than anyone can eat in a single sitting. If you have too many, it will be good to know how to freeze plums.
Aside from sharing the bounty with friends and family, the simplest way to deal with excess fruit is to freeze ripe plums. As ripe summer plums are frozen, their flavor is preserved, allowing you to enjoy them later in the year. Moreover, you can store ripe plums for later cooking, when you have more time or cooler weather, and you are more willing to turn on a hot oven.
Nothing beats a bite of juicy fresh fruit during the cold months of winter. That’s why we’re preparing ahead of time by freezing our excess farmers’ market produce. Freezing plums is as simple as it gets, and the fruit wedges will keep in your freezer for up to six months. Frozen plums can be used to make jam or preserves, added to smoothies, or eaten straight from the freezer for a cool treat. Here’s how to freeze plums so you can enjoy them all year.
Method no. 1: How to flash freeze plums?
- Choose the ripest plums
Before purchasing or picking plums, make sure they are ripe. Plums with blemishes, spots, or wrinkles should be avoided. Plums are best frozen when they are at their ripest and most flavorful. This is significant because freeze overripe or green plums will not be edible when thawed later. To ensure that your plums are ripe, try one before freezing. They are perfect if the juice is purplish-red and the plum tastes sweet and flavorful. Plums that are grainy or tart should not be frozen. If you have a too-hard plum, leave it out for a few days, and it will ripen for you.
- Clean them
Rinse your plums under cold water while rubbing the skin with your fingers to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse thoroughly.
- Cut into wedges
Prepare the plums by slicing them into 1 inch thick wedges with a sharp paring knife. Stems and pits should be removed and discarded.
- Distribute on a baking sheet.
The plum wedges should be spread out on the baking sheet in a single layer, not overlapping (this keeps them from sticking together). Wrap in plastic wrap.
- Freeze until firm
Freeze the baking sheet until the plums are firm and no longer sticky. This will take approximately one hour.
- They should be frozen in a freezer bag.
When the plums are firm and dry from freezing, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a freezer bag with an inch of space at the top. Use a vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible (using a straw can help). By removing as much air as possible, it will reduce freezer burn. Plums can be frozen in this manner for up to six months. To keep them fresher for longer, pack them in syrup.
- Restore moisture
Frozen plum wedges are delicious in a variety of desserts and smoothies. They can also be utilized as an alternative to ice. When you’re ready to use the plums, you’ll need to thaw them first (add moisture back).
Method no. 2: Packing plums in syrup
- Check that the plums are ripe and clean
When packing plums in syrup, you’ll also need ripe, attractive fruit. Make certain they are picked at their peak of ripeness and free of spots and blemishes. Give them a few days to ripen at room temperature if necessary. To remove dirt and debris, wash with cold water.
- Blanch the plums
When blanched, plum’s skin can alter their texture, so we recommend peeling them first we recommend peeling them first. It’s not necessary to peel them, but we think it’s worth the extra effort.
- Heat a large pot of water to a boil (rolling).
- Pour cold water and ice into a large bowl.
- Using a small knife, cut an “X” at the end of the plum.
- Place the plums in a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds.
Remove them with a slotted spoon or colander and immerse them in an ice bath for 30 seconds (you have now blanched them). Peeling is made much easier by the blanching process. The skins will peel off in strips when you remove them from the ice bath.
- Take out the pits
Cut the freshly peeled plums in half and remove the pits using a sharp knife. Work your way around the pit, removing it as you separate the two halves. At this point, you can cut them into small pieces, but we found that freezing them in halves worked best. You can also leave the plums whole, but you must remove the pit with a peach core. To keep plums from browning in the freezer, toss them in lemon juice or use a product designed to keep fruit from browning.
- Select your syrup
Plums can be kept fresh for up to a year by preserving them in “syrup.” Whatever sweet solution you use will also help improve the plums’ flavor. The plums should be placed in a large mixing bowl and covered with your solution. Here are some suggestions for plum preservation solutions:
- Granulated sugar
The sugar works to extract the plum’s juices, but it can be far too sweet for some people. When you use sugar, you are essentially layering sugar on top of your plums. Fill the bottom of your freezer bag (jar, Tupperware, etc.) with white sugar and layer with fruit. Add another layer of sugar and repeat. Continue until your container is empty.
- Juice from fruits
Fruit juice is the simplest option because you pour it over the plums. Apple, grape, or plum juice are all good options.
- Simple syrup
On the stove, combine 3 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Depending on how many plums you have, you can use more or less as long as the 3:1 ratio is maintained. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. When it has completely cooled, pour it over the plums.
- The syrup is thick.
Combine 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar (use this ratio if you need more or less syrup). Continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour it over the plums once it has cooled. This heavy syrup is a very sweet substitute for the other options.
- Fill freezer bags with the mixture.
After you’ve submerged the plums in your chosen solution, please place them in freezer bags (or chosen containers). Fill them up to the brim, leaving an inch of headroom. Using a straw or a vacuum sealer, remove any excess air. Freeze flat in the freezer after sealing and labeling. Freezing them flat will greatly improve storage and stackability.
- Enjoy them after they have thawed.
When you’re ready, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Plums in syrup are ready to eat right away. They’re delicious as a dessert or ice cream topping.
Method #3: How to freeze whole plums?
This method is quick and easy.
- Check that the plums are ripe, juicy, and sweet.
When you freeze plums whole, the quality of the fruit is even more important. The better it tastes after being frozen, the better it tastes when it comes out of the freezer. Check that they are ripe, juicy, and sweet. Perform a taste test. Remove any waste by rinsing with cold water.
- Fill freezer bags with the fruit.
Fill your freezer bags with one inch of headspace as before, but this time just put them in whole. Ensure that they are completely dry so that they do not stick together. Remove any excess air before sealing and labeling.
- Frozen or thawed, enjoy!
Frozen plums are a refreshingly sweet and icy treat ideal for a hot day. Thaw it on the counter if you don’t want to eat it frozen. Frozen plums will keep their texture well.
How to use frozen plums?
Now that you’ve frozen your plums, here are some creative ways to use them:
- Use them in baked goods such as delicious plum tart or German plum dumplings. If you’re making jam or a pie with frozen plums, there’s no need to defrost them first; begin cooking with the frozen plums.
- When the weather cools down, and you have time to mind the bubbling pot, you can freeze plums and use them later for jam or chutney.
- Frozen plum pieces or wedges can be used in iced tea, lemonade, cocktails, or any other drink that would benefit from a hit of plummy sweetness.
- Blend frozen plum wedges in a blender to make smoothies.
How long are frozen plums good for?
Frozen plums will last about six months in a refrigerator-attached freezer and up to a year in a stand-alone freezer. More time will begin to degrade the quality of the plums, but this is not necessarily harmful. When you find plums that have been sitting around for a while, turn them into a jam because the texture of the fruit is unimportant.
How to defrost plums?
It will help if you defrost the frozen plums before using them again. If you’re using a raw or sliced plum, you can either pick them out of the freezer or eat them if they’re in a cooked dish or smoothie. If you want to eat them raw, let them thaw in the fridge overnight. To defrost stewed plums, remove them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to thaw. When the hardness of the frozen plums has worn off, you can eat/use them right away.
Conclusion on how to freeze plums:
Plums are juicy fruits that freeze well if you take the proper preservation precautions. You can use frozen plums in various ways, including dessert toppings, cakes, cookies, smoothies, and pickles. You can enjoy the flavors of plums even when they are out of season by freezing them.
More fruit how-tos:
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