Q. I picked some plums off my tree in the yard and would like to freeze them. I know that you can freeze stewed plums, but I don’t really like them that way. I would like to throw some frozen plums in my morning smoothie, or even make a plum tart or pie with them at a later date. I want to freeze them with the minimum amount of fuss possible, so hopefully you can help me out. I’m worried that freezing them fresh without blanching them first will negatively affect their quality and they will be ruined. Can you freeze fresh plums?
A. Yes, you can freeze fresh plums. They will lose some of their firmness during the freezing process, but if you’re planning on using them for smoothies or pies, that shouldn’t be a problem. They should still stay firm enough to hold their shape, and as long as they are protected from freezer burn, they should still taste great. Freezing fresh plums shouldn’t affect their quality or taste. I don’t recommend freezing them with the stone still inside, so although you will have to do a bit of work, I’ll keep the freezing process as simple as possible.
How do you freeze fresh plums?
First, only use fresh plums that are firm and ripe. Also, check that the plums do not have blemishes. Remove the stem, and cut off any blemished portions. Wash the plums and then dry them carefully. Any moisture left on the outside of the plum can cause freezer burn. Cut the plums in half and remove the stone. You can then either freeze the plums halved, or slice them into smaller slices. Place the halves or the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about a half hour, or until the plum pieces are hard. This will stop the plums from clumping together and losing their shape in the freezer.
Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place the plums in freezer bags or in hard freezer safe containers. Remove the excess air and then seal the bags or containers. Label and date them. Place the plums in the freezer. For best results, use within six months. For smoothies, frozen plum slices can be used directly from frozen. For pies or tarts, thaw the plums first in the freezer and then drain off any excess liquid before using in baked goods.