Fall is here! We can feel it in the weather and our bones – but we can also see it in our markets. Those delicious summer fruits are slowly disappearing. Local strawberries, peaches and raspberries are slowly fading away, and won’t make a starring appearance again for another 8 months. To preserve those happy feelings that come from biting into a delicious summer fruit, why not try freezing? Don’t forget about the money you save when you buy local rather than imported. From berries, melons and peaches, here is a simple how-to-guide for freezing your summer favourites. You can take one afternoon to prep and freeze.
Steps for Freezing Summer Fruits:
- Rinse your fruits of choice under cool water
- Dry the fruit thoroughly and lay out in a single layer on a towel. Try to remove as much moisture as you can – it’ll help freeze better.
- When dry, hull, slice, dice or pit and chop the fruits as needed. Carve out bruises and imperfections. If you’re dealing with apples or peaches, or most fruits with a skin, take time to skin the fruit when you’re dicing! Dice your fruit as needed; ideally, bite-sized pieces.
- Lay out your fruit on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Take care in not overlapping the fruit; keep them in one single layer. If they’re touching, it’s fine.
- Make some room in your freezer, and pop them in there!
- Freeze until solid – this will usually take a few hours.
- Once frozen, transfer to an air-tight container or a Ziploc freezer bag. *Pro-tip: squeezing air out of the bag helps keep the fruit fresher for longer! It helps deter freezer burn.
- Voila! You’re done. Store and use for up to 3 months in all your favourite dishes.
Remember, it may be tempting to just chop and throw your fruit into a bag and toss it into the freezer – but don’t! If you don’t take the proper time and care, you risk your fruit becoming a brick that you can’t use and end up throwing away.
These tips are ideal for the restaurateur or chef looking to bring specific fruits into their menu during off-season. Smoothies, gelées, cobblers and pie, oh my! The possibilities are endless.
Check out this article to get fruit-specific freezing instructions.