Many fruits are in season. Anyone who wants to enjoy stone fruit such as cherries or plums in winter can easily extend their shelf life. The fruit is easy to freeze.
Cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, and nectarines are stone fruits. Because they have juicy flesh and only a single woody core. The fruits are in season.
Basically, the Federal Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers (BVEO) advises that stone fruit should not be stored for a long time, but should be consumed or processed immediately. That’s when it has the most flavor.
But if you want to enjoy stone fruit outside of the season, you can extend the shelf life. Many fruits can even be frozen for up to a year. But what is there to consider when freezing the respective stone fruit?
Freeze cherries: step-by-step instructions
Cherries are particularly popular in summer. If you have too many of them left over or want to enjoy your own cherry harvest in winter, you can easily freeze the fruits. Ripe, dark cherries are particularly good for this: they still taste very sweet after defrosting.
But whether you freeze sour cherries or sweet cherries depends entirely on your taste. It is important that the cherries are not overripe or bruised.
The freezing process is simple:
- First, you should wash the cherries thoroughly, preferably in a sink filled with water.
- Then let the cherries dry thoroughly. If you are in a hurry, you can gently pat the fruit dry with a kitchen towel.
- Now remove the stalks – but not the pits: otherwise the cherries will lose their aroma and become mushy after defrosting.
- Lay out parchment paper on a large plate. Arrange the cherries so that they are not touching.
- Otherwise, they might later freeze together into a lump.
- Flash freeze the cherries in the freezer for an hour or two.
Now you can pour the stone fruit into a freezer bag or into a Tupperware and seal it airtight.
Thaw cherries overnight or at room temperature
If you want to defrost the cherries, it is best to place them in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw the fruit at room temperature for a few hours. After that, they should be easy to stone and can then be processed into cherry jam, cherry juice, or a delicious dessert.
Tip: cherries that are still frozen are a good substitute for decorative ice cubes in a delicious summer drink.
Freeze plums: It’s that easy
Plums freeze just as easily as cherries. For this, too, you should only use ripe, firm fruit without bruises. Unlike the cherries, however, you should pit the plums: Otherwise, pitting them later will be tedious. To do this, cut the fruit in half with a sharp knife and remove the stone.
You should plan about two hours for the shock freezing. You can then transfer the fruit to freezer bags or containers. Frozen plums will keep for at least six months. However, they should be eaten or processed after a year at the latest.
Top cakes with frozen plums
Defrost the plums slowly and gently in the refrigerator before processing them into plum jam or plum compote, for example. Particularly practical: If you are planning to bake a plum cake, you can place the fruit directly on the cake.
Freezing apricots: what should be considered?
If you want to freeze apricots, you can basically do the same thing as you did with plums. Ripe specimens that have a beautiful golden yellow color and no mushy spots are best suited for this. And this is how it works:
Clean and dry carefully.
Halve the apricots and place them individually on a plate. Place parchment paper underneath.
Drizzle the fruit with a little lemon juice: this way they don’t turn brown so quickly.
Pre-freeze the apricots in the freezer for an hour or two.
Then transfer the fruit to a freezer bag or container.
Frozen apricots can be eaten for around nine months.
If you want to preserve the apricots after freezing, you should blanch them before freezing: This preserves the color, vitamins, consistency, and aroma better. Blanching works as follows:
Submerge the fruit halves in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.
Briefly quench the apricots in cold water. For more intensity, you can add a few ice cubes.
Sprinkle the apricots with a little sugar and citric acid: this will keep their color.
Allow the fruit to cool well and drain. After that, you can pack it straight into a freezer container and freeze it.
How are apricots thawed?
It is best to put the apricots in the fridge for a few hours to thaw them. The fruit halves should then be left at room temperature for a while. The reason: apricots do not develop their full aroma when it is cold.
Tip: You can also top a cake directly with frozen apricot halves.
Freezing peaches: how to do it
There’s a little more to consider when freezing peaches. Above all, it is important to remove the furry skin from the fruit before freezing. Otherwise, the skin would give off bitter flavors to the pulp over time. In addition, freezing makes the skin very tough.
If you want to freeze peaches, the best way to do it is as follows:
- Score the bottoms of the peaches in a criss-cross pattern.
- Then the fruits are blanched for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Now you can easily peel off the skin with a kitchen knife.
- Halve the peaches and remove the stone.
- If you want to bake a peach pie, cut the fruit into slices. For peach compote, it is advisable to cut the fruit into pieces.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the fruit to keep it from turning brown.
- Now you can put the fruit in a bag or container and freeze it. If it is important to you that the fruit can be removed individually, you must put them back on a plate, shock-freeze them for one to two hours and then transfer them to a freezer container or bag.
Frozen peaches have a shelf life of eight to twelve months. However, you should not wait too long before eating them, as the fruit will lose its aroma after a year at the latest. If you want to defrost the peaches, it is advisable to place the fruit in a colander at room temperature and collect the fruit juice.
How to freeze nectarines
The same applies when freezing nectarines: Only choose fresh fruit with plump, intact skin. You can proceed in the same way as with the plums. This means:
- Wash the nectarines thoroughly and dry them well.
- Halve fruit and remove seeds.
- Optionally (depending on intended use) cut into bite-sized ends.
- Place the fruit halves or pieces on a plate lined with baking paper and flash freeze for one to two hours.
- Then pour into a freezer bag or freezer box.
Frozen nekatrine will stay fresh for at least four to six months. You can use them to make compote, jam, or smoothies.