Fruit in general are incredibly easy to freeze. Many can just be frozen as is. Just wash quickly in cold water and freeze either whole or cut into pieces as desired. The shorter the time from picking to freezing, the better the flavour, colour and nutritional value of the frozen fruit. To free-flow the fruit, spread them uncovered on a baking tray and freeze until solid then transfer to a plastic bag, remove air and seal. This makes it much easier to use however much you want later and the smaller pieces thaw quicker.
If you prefer them sweeter, then sugar can be added but I don’t unless I absolutely have to. The book I have says that “most fruits have superior flavour and colour if packed with sugar. Use enough sugar with the fruit to give the sweetness required. The usual proportion is one cup of sugar to five cups of fruit.”
If you have fruit that discolour easily (e.g. apples, apricots, feijoas, peaches) and you want to be able to thaw and eat them raw then you will need to pack them with a syrup and some ascorbic acid (about 1 1/4 tsp per litre of cold syrup). If you are going to cook them anyway then I find that you don’t need to worry. You can also cook fruit before freezing to prevent discolouration but it should be slightly undercooked. There are the most common ways but you can also add lemon juice, citric acid or tartaric acid (these will add tartness to the fruit).
To make a syrup pack, dissolve sugar in water and let cool. Choose whatever level of sweetness you prefer.
- Light syrup – 1 cup sugar to 3 cups water
- Medium syrup – 1 cup sugar to 2 cups water
- Heavy syrup – 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water
Place the fruit in a container and cover with syrup allowing about 2.5cm headspace for expansion during freezing.
Regularly in my freezer are whole frozen unpeeled bananas; free-flow halved and de-stoned plums and often stewed plums; free-flow blackberries, raspberries and blueberries; stewed apple; free-flow peeled diced or halved feijoas.
Fruit such as plums can simply be frozen whole if you don’t have time to de-stone them – you just have to fish the stones out when you thaw and cook them later on.
Passionfruit pulp can be packed into ice cube trays or other containers.
Citrus can be be juiced and frozen in ice cube trays or in the very handy Glad ice cube bags. You can zest them first and freeze that too. With lemons and limes you can freeze them whole or cut into halves or quarters with seeds removed – making it easy to add them to your gin and tonic.