Can You Freeze Plums?

by Charlie

Plums contain phytochemicals and nutrients that are anti-inflammatory. These chemicals can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is said that a plum a day keeps anxiety away. They are delicious and can be used to make plum cakes, jams, smoothies, or iced drinks. 

If you strike proverbial gold and come into the possession of a load of plums during the summer, you don’t have to throw away the excess fruit. You can preserve them, to prevent them from spoiling. 

Can you freeze plums? Yes, you can. Freezing plums can preserve them for up to a year. This means that you can enjoy your plums till the next season.

You need to follow some steps to ensure that your plums freeze properly. Keep reading to find out how to.

If you happen to have a plum tree on your property, you should have found out that unlike other fruit trees that have their fruits ripen slowly and gradually, the plums on the tree ripens at all almost the same time. Hence, the need for preservation. How do you freeze plums?

How to Freeze Plums

You can freeze plums in different ways. 

  1. Dry Freezing Plums
  2. Freezing Plums in Syrup

Dry Freezing Plums

You do not need any special additives to use this method. But, you would require the use of a paring knife, baking sheet, parchment paper, cutting board, and some gusto. 

Step 1: Preparing the Plums

You can’t freeze just any plum. You have to be selective when picking the plums. When you want to freeze plums, select plums that are ripe, but still very firm. You can test this by biting into one plum with which you compare the whole batch. This might not be a great idea, but it’s the best mode of comparison you have as you cannot bite into all the plums.

If the plum is sweet and has red juices dripping out of it, then it is good for freezing. But, if it has a grainy texture with a tarty taste and seems to be dry then you shouldn’t freeze the batch. Avoid plums with dark or soft spots. Pick unblemished plums for the best results. After the selection process, wash the plums and rinse them thoroughly under running tap water.

Step 2: Removing the Pits

The pit is the rock hard part of the fruit. It has to be removed to reduce the strain on your blender when you want to use it or to safeguard your teeth when you want to eat them raw. With your paring knife, slice the plums into wedges, remove the stems and pits and discard them. When this is done you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Flash-freezing

Plums tend to clump together into one big frozen ball upon freezing. This could make using it later quite difficult. This step helps to prevent clumping. Spread the cut plums individually with enough space in between them, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put the baking sheet into the freezer and let it freeze for some hours.

Step 4: Storage

Now, your half-frozen plums will not clump together when you store them in Ziploc bags or airtight freezer bags. So go ahead and place them into the bags. Suck out the excess air from the bags before sealing them. 

Then, with a sharpie label the bags, stating the content and the date of the freeze. This will help you to keep track of what has been stored and for how long it has been stored.

Freezing Plums in Syrup

To use this method, you need fruits that are in good condition and unblemished. 

Step 1: Preparing the Plums

Wash the plums under running water to remove dirt and rinse thoroughly. For this method, it’s a great idea to peel the plums. This might come off as stressful to you, but there is an easy way you can do it. 

Blanching the plums can make the peel come off easily. Put a pan of water on the stove to boil. Using a knife, make an “X” incision on the bottom of the plums. Then put them in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Immediately, drain the hot water and dip the plums into icy cold water to stop the cooking process. When you remove the plums from the icy water, the skin will peel off in strips.

Step 2: Removing the Pits

Slice the plums into halves and remove the pits. Plums freeze best in halves but, you can cut them into smaller sizes as it suits you. Plums might turn brown in the freezer. You can avoid this by tossing them in lemon juice before freezing.

Step 3: Adding the Syrup

You can choose any syrup you want. Plain sugar syrup or fruit juice. Storing plums in syrup as you freeze would preserve them for up to a year and also add extra flavor to the plums. 

Your syrup can be prepared in varying ratios depending on how heavy or light you want the syrup. But I recommend 4 cups of water to 2 cups of plain sugar. Pick a freezer-friendly container of your choice, toss in the plums, and add the syrup until it completely covers them. Leave a little bit of headspace for the water to expand upon freezing.

Step 4: Storage

Expel excess air from the containers before sealing. Then label the containers, stating the contents and date of the freeze before putting it away in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Plums

Frozen plums work as they are in a couple of desserts and smoothies recipes. Frozen plums can even act as ice in drinks. You can leave your frozen pack of plums to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Do not attempt to heat frozen plums.

How to Recognize Spoiled Plums

Check the firmness of the fruit, if the plum is super soft or oozing liquid then it should be discarded. You can also check for dark spots or mold on the plums. If your plums have an odd appearance or smell you should discard them as it is not healthy to eat spoiled food items.

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