Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Freezing Fruit...




Oh my, doesn't all that fruit make your mouth water.  I love the bounties of summer, especially the complete abundance of freshly picked fruit.  With what we've got growing in our own garden like rhubarb, blueberries and strawberries, the fact that I can't pass up a local roadside fruit stand to save my soul and that we love to go berry picking each summer there is always an overwhelming amount of fruit in our kitchen throughout the summer.  Berry picking has become a summer tradition for us, what a fun day out and the eat-as-you-go policy that our favorite raspberry farm has is just what the kids need to keep them interested and motivated to fill those boxes.  We went out with friends recently and between the girls and I we picked over twenty pounds of raspberries.  It was unusually hot in our neck of the woods that day, topping 90 degrees, so we had to call it after just an hour or so.  Once we got home we gorged ourselves on berries for days, but knowing that it was not likely we could actually consume our weight in berries before they turned into sad mushy boxes of goo I got right to work, baking some into muffins and baked oatmeal, cooking some into jam, and freezing what I could to tide us through winter.  I love freezing fruit!  It is as low maintenance as it comes in the preserving world and the results don't disappoint.  The method I have settled on with greatest success is to line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and lay the fruit in a single layer on it.  For things like raspberries, small strawberries, blackberries and blueberries I keep the fruit whole and for stone fruits and larger strawberries I cut them in half or wedges.  After the fruit is arranged I pop the tray in the freezer for a few hours or more likely overnight.  Once everything is frozen solid I fill gallon ziplock bags with the frozen fruit and label with date and name of fruit.  So simple and yet it yields such pleasure throughout winter.  Then when you have an inkling for a raspberry/rhubarb crisp or some strawberries over yogurt it is as simple as a quick defrost and you are good to go.  So when you see that fruit stand don't hesitate to stop and pick up a flat or two of fruit, if you aren't into canning or making jam at the very least you can freeze a few gallons for later.

2 comments:

Linda Andrie said...

Have missed you, Kitchen Dweller! Glad you're back!

Jen said...

Thank you!