In the summer, fresh fruit – at the very height of deliciousness – is everywhere. The downside, if there is one, is how to eat the glut of produce before it bids us adieu. Try as I might, most weeks I struggle to keep up with my farmers’ market haul; snacks are devoured, pies are baked, salsas and sauces fill my kitchen, and still there’s fruit that dwindles away into soggy demise.
Can you cheat this slow march to death? Yes! Not all fruit is created equal when it comes to freezing, but the vast majority – especially the ones with shorter seasons – do quite well in Arctic temperatures. Simply chopping them up and throwing them in a bag won’t do, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to perfect pieces of frozen fruit for all your baking, cooking and snacking needs.
What you’ll need:
- parchment paper
- lipped baking sheets
- plastic wrap
- freezer containers and/or freezer bags
- silicone spatula
Know what to use your frozen fruit for:
- To snack on: blueberries, cherries, grapes, mango, peaches, pineapple
- To bake/cook: apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, blackberries, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries
And what fruit not to freeze:
- Because they turn to mush: lemons, limes, oranges (A better idea is to squeeze them and freeze the juice.)
- Because they take on a wobbly, gelatinous consistency: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon (A better idea is to quick pickle melons and watermelon rind.)
- Because there are better ways to preserve their flavor: tomatoes (A better idea is to slow-roast tomatoes to dry them out prior to freezing, or cook and purée them into sauce or paste.)
Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.