Anyone with a plum tree knows this to be true: you never have just a few ripe plums. Some fruit trees ripen gently, with individual fruits ripening at their own pace. Not so much with plums tree. All the fruit tends to be ripe all at once, and it tends to be much more than any one person (or household) can use fresh. By far the easiest way to deal with the glut - besides given part of the harvest away to plum-tree-less folks - is to freeze ripe plums. Freezing them allows you to keep the fresh flavor of ripe summer plums to enjoy later in the year, and freezing is also a great way to set aside ripe plums to cook in bake goods (like this Plum Tart) or turn into jam (or chutney) when you have more time. This same method works for freezing apricots, pluots, peaches, and nectarines, too.
Tip: Use wedges of frozen plum as "ice cubes" in iced tea, lemonade, or any other drink that could use a hit of plummy sweetness.
To Freeze Plums:
- Halve and pit however many plums you want to freeze. Peel them if you like.
- Cut the plums into wedges or however you think you'll want to use them later (slices or cubes are good; or you can leave them as halves, if you like).
- Lay the peeled and cut plums on baking sheets in a single layer.
- Put the trays in a freezer until the plums are frozen through; this will take anywhere from several hours to overnight depending on your freezer and how thick the plum pieces are.
- Transfer the frozen plums to resealable plastic bags or other air-tight container(s). Keep, frozen, until ready to use – up to six months.
Note: If using frozen plums to make jams or cook into a pie, there is no need to defrost the plums first – just start cooking with the frozen plums!