Greengages are a wonderful stoned fruit that can be hard to come by out of season. To make the most out of any greengages that you find yourself with, have you considered whether it’s possible to freeze greengages?
Can You Freeze Greengages?
Yes, you can freeze greengages for up to 8 months. We’d suggest stoning and chopping greengages, before placing them in containers. They can also be covered with a sugar syrup to extend the freezing period further.
Can You Refreeze Greengages? No
Do Greengages Freeze Well? Sometimes
How to Freeze Greengages
When freezing greengages, you have two options: You can either freeze them as plain fruits or you can freeze them in sugar syrup. The latter extends the time they can be frozen but, of course, makes them significantly less healthy:
How to Freeze Whole Greengages
If you just want to get greengages frozen without any prep work beforehand, then this is the method to follow (it’s not the best option, though!):
- Bag Up: When freezing whole greengages, your best bet is to place them into a freezer bag.
- Remove Air: Press as much air out of the freezer bag as possible, which will prevent oxidation and freezer burn over time.
- Seal: When you’ve pressed the air out of the bag, seal it shut, and wrap it in one or two layers of foil – this will give you a more secure wrapping, which will prevent too much air from being near the greengages.
- Label and Freeze: Finally, label the bag clearly then pop them into the freezer carefully. The fruit will bruise easily so be delicate.
How to Freeze Greengages in Sugar Syrup
Although adding a sugar syrup might make greengages significantly less healthy, this is actually the best way to freeze them:
- Make Syrup: First, make up a large batch of sugar syrup, bearing in mind that a small enough ratio of sugar to water needs to be used to allow the water to freeze – we’d suggest using a litre of water and 500g of sugar. This 2:1 ratio will allow for the syrup to freeze well.
- Prepare Fruit: Once the syrup is made, remove the stones from the fruit and chop them into quarters.
- Portion Into Containers: Place the fruit pieces into freezer containers, and then top them up with the sugar syrup. Cover the fruit with the syrup until it is fully submerged.
- Freeze: Seal the containers and ensure that the syrup is at room temperature before placing them into the freezer where they will keep for around 12 months.
3 Tips for Freezing Greengages
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing greengages to have the best results:
Opt for Sugar Syrup
Freezing the greengages in syrup will prevent discolouration, which would make them less appetizing after being frozen.
Add Extra Protection
If you’re freezing the greengages whole instead of chopped or juiced, consider wrapping the freezer bag you’re storing them in one or two layers of foil. As well as pressing the air out of the bag, this process will prevent too much air from being directly in contact with the greengages, which would lead to freezer burn.
To help the syrup prevent discolouration, it is wise to add a tablespoon of lemon juice to it. This is a trick that was first used in the process of making sorbet – acidity helps to prevent discolouration.
How Long Can You Freeze Greengages?
Whole greengages can be frozen for up to 8 months. This time period is relatively short compared to other options as the fruit will tend to oxidize in the freezer. This is similar to how an apple will turn brown as it oxidizes, slowly spoiling over time.
When in syrup, you create a barrier of sugary ice between the flesh of the fruit that you’re using and the air within the freezer. This greatly halts the process of oxidation, leading to the fruit staying safe to eat for a longer amount of time.
How Do You Defrost Greengages?
The best way to defrost whole greengages is to place them on a tea towel at room temperature, with the ambient heat of the room they’ll defrost slowly, melting the ice in and around them.
If you’re planning to use the greengages immediately after thawing, then we would suggest either running the fruit under a hot tap or microwaving the fruit on high for thirty-second intervals.
The best way to thaw fruit that is kept in syrup is to put it in a refrigerator for six to eight hours, per pound of fruit in syrup. This will allow for a slow defrosting process, which is ideal for maintaining the texture of the fruit itself.
Ultimately, if you’re going to cook the greengages after thawing then you can speed up the thawing process.
Can You Refreeze Greengages?
Technically, yes, though we certainly wouldn’t recommend it!
The problem with refreezing greengages is that the freezing process negatively impacts the texture of the fruit.
Fruit, especially stoned fruit, is loaded with water. These water molecules will swell as they freeze, ruining the texture of the fruit itself.
For that reason, we would recommend only thawing what you need to thaw when cooking with frozen greengages.
Do Greengages Freeze Well?
This is a tricky question to answer in this case – greengages do not freeze well by conventional standards, but the fruit, once frozen, can possess some interesting qualities that are sure to make it more useful in the kitchen.
For example, when stored and frozen in syrup, the fruit is essentially pre-stewed: This means that you can cut a large portion of work out of the process of making a pie or crumble.
This means that while they don’t hold up well in the freezer, they can alter in an interesting way when frozen which makes them useful for other dishes.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing greengages or greengages in general, then these may help:
Yes, you can freeze crumble made with any fruit – cherries, plums, blackberries or apple. Greengage crumble can also be frozen. Once cooled, wrap the crumble in foil then pop it into the freezer.
Greengage chutney will last for around 6 months in a dark, cool cupboard so there is no need to freeze it.
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