Interested in learning how to preserve fresh fruit for future use? Follow these steps to freeze your fresh fruit with ease! It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of picking your own fruit. It’s fresh, inexpensive and healthy!
- WHAT YOU NEED
- Ripe fruit
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Freezer bags or containers
Wash and dry your fruit by rinsing under cool, running water. Lay the fruit in a single layer on a clean, dry dish towel and allow the fruit to dry. The layer of fruit will need to be completely dry prior to freezing or it will quickly develop freezer burn.
- SLICE THE FRUIT
Prepare or slice the fruit the way you expect to be using it. Cut it into chunks or wedges if you will be using the fruit in a pie. A rough chop works well if you will be blending it into smoothies. Remove the pits or any seeds/core from apples, pears, peaches or nectarines then cut them into slices or chunks. For melons, remove the rinds and chop into chunks. Berries can be left whole.
- ARRANGE THE FRUIT IN A SINGLE LAYER ON A PARCHMENT PAPER LINED BAKING SHEET
It’s OK if the fruit touches slightly, but avoid layering or overlapping the fruit. This allows the fruit to freeze individually, making it easier to store and, eventually, use.
- FREEZE UNTIL FRUIT IS SOLID
You can leave the fruit overnight, but package within a day or two or they will start to develop freezer burn. It should take approximately 4 hours to freeze fruit to a solid.
- LABEL THE CONTENTS
Jot down the date, type of fruit and the amount inside the bag or container. This makes it easier to find the fruit you want so you can pull out the specific quantity you need.
- ONCE THE FRUITS HAVE FROZEN SOLID, PACK THEM INTO FREEZER CONTAINERS
Lift the edges of the parchment to dislodge sticky fruit and use a spatula to transfer the fruits to the freezer bag or container. Handle the fruit as little as possible to prevent quick thawing and seal tightly. Press out as much air as possible and return the fruit to the freezer.
- GRAB WHENEVER THE MOOD STRIKES
Fruit keeps for several months — at least 3 months and sometimes longer — before starting to develop ice crystals and freezer burn. There is usually no need to thaw the fruit before using it.