Greengages – Choose ripe fruit, wash, dry and cut in half to remove the stones. For pies and puddings you can layer the fruit in dry sugar (3/4 cup to half a kilo of fruit) and pack in polythene containers. Can be used for pies and puddings. Storage time: 12 months.
Loganberries – Prepare firm, ripe fruit. Wash and dry thoroughly. Pack in small quantities in polythene containers. Can be used for puddings and sauces. Storage time: 12 months.
Oranges – Buy when in season and cheap. Peel, remove pith and pips and slice. Layer the fruit in dry sugar (3/4 cup to about 4 oranges). Can be added to fruit salads, or served as they are. After thawing, you can add liquor. Storage time: 12 months.
Peaches and nectarines – They freeze well. Blanch the fruit for 1 minute. Remove the skins, cut in half and remove the stones. Make light syrup and poach the peaches and nectarines for 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Add ¼ teaspoon of ascorbic acid to 2 ½ cups cold syrup, and pour over the fruit that you have placed in polythene containers. The fruit has a tendency to float, so place some crumpled waxed paper on top. You can serve it by itself with whipped cream perhaps, or use it in puddings. Storage: 12 months.
Pears – Pears do not freeze very well. You should choose slightly under-ripe pears. Wash, peel and core them. Prepare a light syrup and poach them in the syrup for two minutes. Drain and cool. Place fruit in polythene containers and pour over them 2 ½ cups cold syrup in which you have added ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid. The fruit has a tendency to float, so place some crumpled waxed paper on top and close the container with its lid. You can serve the pears by themselves, or use them in puddings. Storage: 12 months.
Plums – Use ripe fruit. Wash, dry, cut in half and remove stones. Place them in polythene containers and cover them with heavy syrup, although this is not recommended as the skins toughen. You can also leave them whole and pack them in polythene bags. If you pack them in syrup you can use them for pies and puddings. If you leave the fruit whole you can use them to make jam. Storage: 12 months.
Raspberries – Handle fruit very gingerly. Remove stalks, wash if absolutely necessary and dry well carefully. You can open freeze them and then pack them in polythene containers. You can serve them as they are with cream or ice-cream. As the fruit are separate you could use them to decorate cakes, etc. On the other hand, you can puree the fruit and add ¾ cup sugar to 2 cups pureed fruit. You can pack them in small polythene containers or in ice cube container. Use the puree to flavor ice cream, sorbets or mousses. Storage time: 12 months.
Rhubarb – Choose tender stalks, cut off green part, wash and dry. Cut into ¾ inch lengths. The stalks can be packed into polythene bags as they are. Alternatively you can blanch them for 1 minute. This way they retain color. Cool and pack in polythene containers or bags. They can be stewed, or used in pies, crumbles or puddings. Storage time: 12 months.
Strawberries – They should be firm and ripe. Small strawberries freeze better. Remove stalks, wash and dry thoroughly and carefully. They can be open frozen and then packed in polythene containers. They can be served as they are with cream or ice cream, or used as decoration. They can be layered with sugar. Cut the larger fruit in half and leave small fruit whole. Use ½ cup sugar to half a kilo fruit, packed in polythene containers. You can add them to fruit salads or make puddings. You can also puree the fruit, adding ¾ cup sugar to 2 ½ cups pureed strawberries. Pack the puree in polythene containers. With the puree you can flavor ice cream or mousses. Storage time: 12 months.
Next week: Freezing Meat