My father has a lot of fruit trees. Just as he left for a two month vacation, his yellow/golden plums started ripening — fast! Since I have limited time on the weekends to go down to his place while he’s gone, I decided last weekend to pick the whole lot, lest they just start falling off the tree and going bad. I figured I’d bring some fresh ones to friends and co-workers, and make preserves out of the rest. Of course, by the end of the day, I was exhausted just from picking, and I knew I couldn’t get back to the plums until next weekend. Not really thinking the problem though, I put my buckets of plums in the empty freezer in my Dad’s garage, figuring I’d just be able to let them slowly defrost later. Not so, I have just learned! I came by the house to water plants tonight, and decided to take a handful of plums out of the freezer — they looked great, and were frozen rock hard. Half hour later, they are brown and mushy — they look rotten though they were fresh just minutes ago!
Have I ruined my crop of plums (about 50 or 60 pounds of them), or is there some hope? Any help greatly appreciated!
You can not freeze tree fruit, so they are basically ruined. Plums and nectarines are particularly sensitive. You can try to “unfreeze” them slowly, by gradually increasing the temperature by a few degrees every 12 hours or so, or just try to set them in a very cold fridge thetn bring them up to 33-34 degrees F slowly. If you take them out of the freezer and leave out at room temperature then for sure they will give you no love.
Think jam. No matter how you thaw them, you probably are not going to eat them raw. I’ve made plum jam, but it’s been a long time. Basically, you put equal amounts by volume of plums and sugar. Bring to boil and cook stirring frequently until thick. Good luck.
According to quite a few websites, freezing plums whole is OK. Suggestions include cakes and puddings as well as the jam already mentioned. Here’s a recipe for plum wine using 12 pounds of frozen plums. I vote for this one. Use google advanced search and enter frozen plums in the exact phrase box.
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