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About Freezing Fruits and Berries
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From the Joy of Cooking: Choose firm, sound, uniformly sun ripened fruit. [Pears and bananas do not freeze well]. It is not essential to use sugar but it is often preferable. To sugar fruit, place it in a shallow tray. Just before you pack, sift the sugar over it til evenly coated. Don't let the mixture stand or the sugar will draw the fruits' juices. When packing, allow some room for expansion on freezing.

Table 1

No sugar is required for these fruits.

Apples and plums should be immersed briefly in a solution of 3 Tbl lemon juice or 1/4 tsp Ascorbic acid to 1 qt water and drained to prevent browning. Blueberries should be steam blanched 30 sec to a min to keep skins tender.

Apples Blueberries Cranberries Currants Gooseberries Loganberries Melons Pineapple Plums Prunes Rhubarb Raspberries

Table Ii

Use 1 Lb sugar for the following:

5 lb apples* 5 lb blackberries 4 lb blueberries* 3 lb sour cherries* 3 lb currants 4 lb dewberries 3 lb gooseberries 3 lb sliced peaches* 3 lb pineapple 3 lb plums* 4 lb rhubarb, diced 4 lb raspberries 4 lb strawberries, whole or crushed

*These fruits require a 1/2 tsp Ascorbic acid crystals per 5 lb sugar to prevent oxidizing and browning. [Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C].

About Syrup

These sirups may be made in advance and chilled before combining with the fruit. For light syrup use 1 3/4 c sugar to 1 pint water. You can use up to 1/3 corn syrup for sugar. Bring to a boil to ensure complete dissolving and then chill. Allow at least 1/3 c syrup to each 1 1/2 c fruit making sure that it is covered. Add lemon juice or Ascorbic acid to the syrup for those fruits that need them as per the table above.

Freezing Berries

Fragile berries and cherries should be washed in ice water to firm them. And any commercial or suspect fruit should be washed to clean them. Drain well on paper towelling. After culling, hulling and stemming they are ready for freezing with or without sugar. Blanch blueberries to soften skins. If whole strawberries are packaged without sugar, prick them with a fork to release the air. Unsweetened raspberries may be frozen in a single layer on trays and packaged after freezing to keep them whole and uncrushed. This way they will weep less if thawed and used whole as garnishes.

Freezing Large Fruits

Sort them carefully, remove pits, cores and stems and pare where nec- essary. Treat fruits that tend to discolor, such as apple, peaches and apricots with the following: lemon juice or Ascorbic acid as above or use a syrup with added ascorbic acid as above. If these fruits are packed in combination with citrus fruits this step may be skipped.

Pears do not freeze well.

Freezing Purees

Some fruits, such as plums, prunes, avocados, papayas, mangoes, persimmons and melons keep better as uncooked purees. Bananas should not be frozen. Either freeze unsweetened or with 1 c sugar per 1 lb fruit.

Freezing Juices

Apple, raspberry, plum, cherry and grape juice freeze well as do ciders. For each gallon add 1/2 tsp Ascorbic acid or 2 tsp lemon juice. Cherries, plums and grapes have better flavor if cooked first as there is flavor to extract from the skins. Raspberries are best frozen whole with sugar and the juice extracted after they are thawed.Fruit fir jelly may be frozen unsugared and the juice extracted later.

Extracted from The Joy of Cooking

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