Processing Euro plums

I don’t jar and my wife only does so much. Instead I rely on ample freezer space to preserve most of the fruit I will be eating this winter. The plums are mostly be processed into plum pulp with the skins included.

Fruit is cut open and the seed removed and they are very briefly cooked (just to boiling) with a bit of sugar and then run through the blender until the skins are blended with the pulp (so much healthier that way and the skins add color without detracting from flavor for my tastes).

I poor the pulp into individual zip-lock sandwich bags, freeze them on a tray and place into one gallon zip lock freezer bags so I can remove the amount I want for sauces, jams (add more sugar for that) and whatever. My main use is as a base sauce to which I add frozen slices of nectarine or blueberries and heat up to put on the waffles I eat every other day, or in the oatmeal I eat when not eating waffles.

I will save some jumbo choice ones to freeze in seedless halves in case my wife happens to be inspired to make a tart or something equally delicious. The woman can flat-out bake (a skill she gives my mother a lot of credit for developing, but she was a talented cook long before meeting my mother).

One thing this process benefits from is using free stone plums such as Valor and Empress. The smaller varieties such as Bluebyrd and Italian tend to cling and that makes for more work in the preparation. There is also a higher ratio of skin to pulp which might or might not be a good thing.

Alan, don’t you find that the taste of fresh plum changes after being frozen? They taste like sour wine to me. I tried it last year, defrosted some plums made a tart and the taste was horrible. You must have better luck. Also the stone pits from my Italian plums pop right out. The only thing I’ll freeze in ice cube trays is fresh pesto, so I can use it when I like. How soon do you have to use your frozen plums?

That doesn’t make any sense to me chemically. Fruit can lose texture by way of freezing but never sugar- I’ve eaten many species of fruit frozen as I’m sure you have. We even throw whole limes and lemons in the freezer after purchasing big bags of them from Cosco and the juice tastes like fresh.

My plums don’t change flavor from the process of freezing- I expect you froze the last of your plums and didn’t realize they’d lost their quality, but I can only guess.

I thought I was cutting up Italian plums but realized that they were actually Bluebyrd. I mistakenly made that assumption because they look almost identical. I generally don’t bother processing my It plums because they are so small and don’t get up quite the sugar for me as Valor and Empress. Sorry for my mistaken slur about your beloved adopted Italian tree child :wink: .

Gosh, and I thought you would have known better by now! I picked my Itlalian plums a little early last year, bagged them and tossed them into the freezer, I was off for a month and didn’t want the squirrels to get them. I though I was being so clever. When they defrosted they were not exactly mushy but smelled like corked wine. Just my experience with them. And you know I love them! :kissing_heart:

I found the taste is effected a lot by the quality of the bags. I used cheapy freezer bags one year since they appeared to be a bargain and the stuff all tasted awful. Now I use ziplock freezer bags only when I freeze things. They are just as cheap as the bargain freezer bags when bought in the quantity we use from SAMs Club.

They were in zip lock bags. :cry:

I’m not sure what caused the problem. I think some things flavor does just change after freezing quite a bit. I guess I would dry them instead and then when I cooked with them I would plop them in hot water first. I know prunes are good dried and not so much frozen.

I think the plums weren’t ripe in the first place now that I have some more info. Green plums might work for chutney and pickles.

I agree with Alan, the problem you had was they were not ripe when picked.

This freezing pulp is something I should try. I make a lot of pulp now, but usually want to directly turn it in to jam, ice-cream, or fruit leather. With Euro plums its going to be awhile though, all I am getting is a snack now.

Today is apple drying day. I left too many Rubinettes sitting out and they are getting soft. I sauced some yesterday and will dry the rest today.

A nice thing about pulp is that that packaging it almost eliminates freezer burn potential. Probably good for years.

Thanks Alan, I picked them last year the second week in Sept. some were ripe, some were still a bit hard but had some give. Didn’t work. Now I know why. Anyway, made 16 half pints of great jam this year and dried the four last pounds of the plums. Delish!

I’ve still got a ton in the fridge but I’m about out of freezer room. Wait till your trees reach full size- it is just amazing how much fruit a single tree can produce.

Alan, I am getting nervous about what you and others have helped me to create. Once Olpea said, Mrs. G just wait one day all of your trees will produce more fruit than you now what to do with. Well. . . its starting. There is plenty of fruit for my husband and me and about 20 friends! I have just ordered another five trees though. I will have close to forty trees now. Can this forum please start a thread on AA for fruit tree addicts!

Well, it is fun to take fruit to the local food bank if you can spare the time for it.

I too am way in over my head with all the fruit my trees produce and my limited budget of time for unpaid activity. Pray for late frost! There is no other methadone for us.

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