Freezing fruit is possible but once frozen and defrosted, texture is lost. The easiest way to to freeze fruit for things such as making a pie filling is to make the filling or a purée and freeze that.
Most apples will store for a period in a cool, airy dark place but how long will depend on their condition and which variety. Apples can be bottled or dried.
For freezing apples. cut into slices bout 5 to 10mm thick which can be blanched for 2 minutes prior to chilling and freezing for later use in pies and flans. If you’re worried about them discolouring, soaking in lemon juice for a moment before blanching helps cure this.
Usually we freeze some surplus apples in the form of a purée. Just peel, core and stew with a very small amount of water and sugar to taste in a heavy pan. A knob of butter on the bottom helps stop sticking. Mash with a fork and freeze in portions when cool. These are easy to pull out for apple sauce with a pork meal.
Freezing Berries and Currants
All the berries, from strawberries to blackberries and blackcurrants, can be frozen. Usually we do this when we’re building up enough for a jam making session as the freezing process makes the fruit soggy and unsuitable for eating fresh.
The easiest way is just to prepare the fruit as if for cooking, remove stalks and hull strawberries, etc. Then make sure they’re dry and spread on a tray and freeze. When frozen pack into bags.
Freezing Damsons and Plums
The purée method is the best we’ve found for these. You can freeze in a syrup. Mix 1 lb (450g) of sugar with 2 pints (1 litre) of water until dissolved. Stone and halve the plums before adding. By adding 200–300mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the syrup you prevent discolouration. It’s available quite cheaply as a powder. You only need a third of a gram, so half a teaspoon seems to give the right weight.
Pears just don’t seem to work for freezing except as a purée. Even freezing in syrup results in a mush. They’re better stored in other ways or turned into perry.
Rhubarb can be frozen but only for later use in cooking. Wash, trim and cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) lengths. Blanch for one minute, chill and freeze.
Having said all the above, when faced with 3 carrier bags of damsons left by a friend on the doorstep – on the day we were going on holiday! we just dropped the bags into the freezer and left. About 6 weeks later they made a lovely jam.
More Information on Freezing Produce
- Freezers and Freezing Food
- Freezers – Chest or Upright Freezer?
- How to Freeze Food – General Information, Blanching etc.
- Freezing Vegetables – Preparation & Blanching Times Part 1
- Freezing Vegetables – Preparation & Blanching Times Part 2
- Freezing Herbs – How to Freeze Herbs
- Freezing Fruit – How to Freeze Fruits
- Freezer Running Costs – How Much do Freezers Cost to Run
- Freezer Running Costs – Test Results How Much our Freezers Cost
- Running Costs for Freezers Conclusions