First Tips, Tricks, & Techniques post! And it’s a good one!
I want to share something really earth shattering: you can have summer fruit all winter long if you use your freezer properly! But how, you ask? Simple. Here’s a collection of wisdom shared by Alton Brown on various episodes of Good Eats. Go forth and freeze! (your fruit, that is.)
Blueberries: lay them flat on a sheet pan and freeze until rock hard (2-4 hours). Transfer to a freezer bag for long-term storage.
Strawberries: hull them, and then same as above. But they’ll probably take closer to 4 hours to freeze solid.
Peaches: these ones require more effort. Blanch (drop in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then shock in an ice bath to prevent cooking) and gently peel the skin away once cool enough to handle. Or, wrestle with your peeler and get really frustrated. Dice the peaches into a quarter to a half inch dice and toss with sugar (you’ll need about one cup of sugar per pound of peaches). The sugar prevents the peaches from becoming soppy shells of their former existence once they’re thawed. It doesn’t make the peaches sweeter on the inside, it just protects them on the outside. Transfer to freezer bags, then lay flat on a sheet tray to freeze through. To use: thaw and strain, if desired. If you’re making a pie, keep the liquid and reduce the sugar in your recipe by one third to one half depending on taste. If you strain the peaches, keep the sugar syrup and find another way to use the sweet, peachy goodness. A cocktail would be an excellent application. I’ll post a recipe soon!