Q. I have a plum tree in my yard that produced a huge crop of plums this year. I have given some away to family and friends, but still have many plums left over. I have plans to use them for tarts and jam, but I don’t have the time to use them all up right now. I’ll refrigerate a few, but they won’t all last long enough in the fridge. I don’t want them to go to waste, since I worked so hard to grow them! I’ve never tried freezing plums before because of the pit in the middle. I’m not sure if the plums would go all watery and gross in the freezer. Can you freeze plums?
A. Yes, you can freeze plums. You are correct, however, that freezing them will change the consistency of the fruit. I recommend freezing plums that you plan on using for baking or preserving, rather than for ones that you plan to eat raw. I also recommend freezing them without the pit. That means a bit of work before freezing, but it’s worth it in the long run. A little bit of prep work now makes for much simpler cooking and baking later.
How to freeze plums?
The simplest way to freeze them is in halves. Inspect each plum first, making sure it is free from blemishes or insects. Wash the plums and then dry them completely. Cut the plums in half, and remove the stone from the middle. Arrange the plums with the cut side up on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until the plums begin to harden, approximately 20 minutes. Take them out of the freezer, and place the plum halves into freezer bags. Remove the excess air, then seal the bags. Label and date the freezer bags and place in the freezer. Plums can also be cut into smaller pieces for easier use in jams. Follow the same process as for freezing halves, and then smooth bags flat so that they stack in the freezer.
How to thaw plums?
To thaw and use frozen plums, remove the bag from the freezer and thaw in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Plums will be more watery after being frozen, so you may want to drain off the excess water, or adjust the liquid in your recipe to account for it. For best results, use thawed plums within two days of defrosting.