Summer's bountiful harvest can be well-remembered and renewed by freezing items you enjoy.
Work with small amounts at a time to allow for quick handling and prompt freezing.
Gently wash the fruit in cold water. Drain well. Never allow the fruit to stand in water. Remove stems from berries, and pits from cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and pears. The peels should be removed from peaches, apples, and pears. The fruit can be sliced, quartered, or mashed, depending on future use.
To prevent discoloration while working, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, plums, etc. should be dipped in water with lemon juice. (1 gallon water to 3 tbs. lemon juice).
Sweetening fruits before freezing helps retain flavor and color. Rolling the fruit pieces in sugar is a simple way to guarantee that summer-fresh flavor. This is called a dry sugar pack. It is great with very juicy fruits as the sugar and the juice will make a great syrup.
A simple syrup can also be used. Allow 1 cup of syrup for each quart of fruit.
(Medium-2 cups sugar/4cups water
Heavy - 4 cups sugar/4 cups water).
Choose fruits that are at the perfect eating stage. Over-ripe fruit will not freeze well and flavor, and appearance will be affected.
Pack fruit carefully, pour syrup over to within 1" of top, close and freeze.
Also, all fruits can be packed unsweetened for those special dietary
Holiday times are great for snacking on nutmeats or including them in dessert ideas or menu items. Nutmeats can be frozen successfully by simply cleaning them, packing into glass jars or plastic bags, sealing, and freezing.
A fast, simple way to preserve Summertime flavor and fruit - freezing some for Holiday Meals or cold-winter nights when remembering Summer will bring back great memories and great taste.
Â©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 August
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