If youâ€™re like us, then you love plums! Not only can they be a healthy snack on their own, but plums can also be used in a wide variety of desserts and main courses to add sweet and unique flavors that elevate the dish.
If youâ€™ve been growing plums, and have a lot of excess as a result, instead of throwing them away, you should consider freezing them. This will allow you to preserve them for up to 1 year. If youâ€™re wondering how to freeze plums, read on, as thereâ€™s a few simple methods weâ€™re going to be sharing with you below:
Method #1: How to Dry Freeze Plums
Pick The Ripest Plums
Make sure plums are ripe before buying or picking them. Avoid plums with any blemishes, spots, or wrinkles. Plums are best when frozen at the peak of ripeness when they are most flavorful. This is important because if you freeze overripe or green plums they wonâ€™t be good when you thaw them later.
To make sure your plums are ripe, taste one before you freeze. If the juice is purply-red and the plum tastes sweet and flavorful they are perfect. Donâ€™t freeze plums that are grainy or tart. In case you have a plum that is a little too hard you can leave it out for a few days and it will ripen for you.
Wash away any dirt or debris from your plums by rinsing under cold water while you rub the skin with your fingers. Rinse well.
Slice Into Wedges
Use a sharp paring knife to slice the plums into 1 inch thick wedges. Remove and discard stems and pits.
Spread on a Baking Sheet
Place in Freezer Until Firm
Put the baking sheet in the freezer until the plums are firm and no longer sticky. This will take about an hour.
Put Them in a Freezer Bag
Once the plums are firm and dry from freezing, remove from the baking sheet and put in a freezer bag, leave an inch of empty space at the top. Use a vacuum sealer or squeeze out as much air as possible (using a straw can help). If there is too much air in the bag it will aid in causing freezer burn.
Plums frozen this way will keep for up to six months. To preserve them longer you need to pack them in syrup.
Add Moisture Back
Frozen plum wedges work well in a variety of desserts or as an addition to smoothies. You can also use them frozen in drinks in place of ice. When you are ready to use the frozen plums you will need to reconstitute them (add moisture back).
Method #2: How to Pack Plums in Syrup
Make Sure Plums Are Ripe & Clean
When packing plums in syrup you will also need ripe, good looking fruit. Make sure they are picked at peak ripeness and free from spots and blemishes. If necessary you can leave them at room temperature for a few days to ripen up. Wash with cold water to remove dirt and debris.
Peel Your Plumps
The process of freezing and reconstituting plums can change their texture so we recommend peeling them first (much like tomatoes). You donâ€™t have to peel them but we have found it worth the extra work.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil (rolling).
- Prepare a large bowl with ice and cold water.
- Make an â€œXâ€ in the end of the plum using a small knife.
- Put the plums into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Remove with a slotted spoon or colander and put them in the ice bath for 30 seconds (you have now blanched them).
- The blanching process makes peeling very easy. When you remove them from the ice bath the skins will peel off in strips.
Remove The Pits
Slice the freshly peeled plums in half and remove the pits using a sharp knife. Work around the pit and remove it as you pull the two halves apart. At this point you can slice them into small pieces but we found they freeze best in halves. You could also leave the plums whole but you will still need to remove the pit using a peach corer.
To avoid plums browning in the freezer you can toss them in lemon juice or use a product sold for preventing fruit from browning.
Choose Your Syrup
Preserving plums in â€œsyrupâ€ will keep them fresh up to 12 months. Whatever sweet solution you choose will also also help enhance the flavor of the plums. Put plums in a large bowl and cover them completely with your solution. Here are some ideas for solutions that will preserve your plums well:
The sugar works to draw out the juices of the plum but can be far too sweet for some people. If using sugar you are basically just layering your plums with sugar.
Fruit juice is the easiest option as you just pour it straight over the plums. Try apple, grape, or plum juice.
Heat 3 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar over the stove. You can use more or less depending on how many plums you have just keep the 3:1 ratio. Stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved. Once it is completely cool pour over the plums.
Heat 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar (keep this ratio if you need more or less syrup) on the stove. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. Once cooled pour it over the plums. This heavy syrup is a very sweet alternative to the other choices.
Pour Into Freezer Bags
After you have submerged the plums into your chosen solution you can pour it into freezer bags (or chosen container).
Fill them leaving an inch of headroom. Remove excess air with a straw or vacuum sealer. Seal, label, and freeze flat in the freezer. Freezing them flat will allow much better storage and stackability.
Thaw Them & Enjoy
When you are ready remove them, thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Plums packed in syrup are ready to eat immediately. They make a great dessert or ice cream topping.
Method #3: How to Freeze Plums Whole
Make Sure Plums Are Ripe, Juicy & Sweet
If you choose to freeze plums whole their quality is even more important. The better it is when it goes in the freezer the better it will taste after. Make sure they are ripe, juicy, and sweet. Do a taste test. Rinse with cold water to remove any debris.
Fill Freezer Bags
Fill your freezer bags the same as before leaving one inch of headspace but this time you just put them in whole. Make sure they are completely dry so they donâ€™t stick together. Remove excess air, seal, and label.
Enjoy Frozen or Thawed
Frozen plums are a great sweet and ice cold treat perfect for a hot day. If you prefer not to eat frozen you can thaw on the counter. Frozen plums will retain a pretty good texture.