Freezing Fruits

Fruits are generally pretty easy to freeze. Many go straight from the berry bush and into the freezer bag. However, every fruit is different and some require special handling for best results. When using freezer containers instead of plastic bags, remember to leave 1/2 to one inch of headroom to provide for expansion. Consult the following table for your favorite fruit:

Fruit Preparation
Apricots Rinse and pit. May be cut in half or left whole. May peel or blanch by dipping in boiling water for 30 seconds. May sweeten with 1/2 cup sugar per quart.
Berries Rinse berries and drain well. Spread berries on tray and freeze until solid. Then pour into plastic freezer bag or a freezing container. May also pack in sugar (1/4 to 1/2 cup per quart).
Cherries Rinse de-stem and pit. If sweetening is desired use 2/3 cups sugar. May use 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart. May also tray-freeze, then put into bags (see berries).
Figs Rinse ripe fruit. Be sure to remove stems and then pack in freezer bags.
Grapes De-stem, wash and place in freezer bags or containers.
Mangoes Rinse and peel. Cut fruit into pieces. Be sure to avoid the flesh near the pit. Mix slices with 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid and 1/2 cup sugar. Make sure sugar dissolves. Pack in freezer bags or containers.
Melons Cut the melons in half and remove seeds. Cut again into quarters and eighths, then peel and cut into cubes. Pack in freezer bags or containers.
Peel peaches by dipping in boiling water for 1 minute, then placing under cold water. The skins should slip off easily. May leave on the skins of nectarines. May mix with 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid and 1/2 cup sugar per quart.
Pears Peel, halve and core. Heat in boiling sweetened water (syrup) for about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup.
Pineapple Peel and remove eyes and cores. Cut into wedges, slices, etc. Dry-pack in freezer bags or containers.
Plums Rinse and dry. May slice or pit. Dry-pack or sugar-pack with 1/2 cup sugar per quart.
Rhubarb Rinse and remove leaves (leaves are poisonous). Cut stems in 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Dry pack or add sugar (up to 1 cup sugar per quart).

As well as the fresh packs described above, fruits can be packed in a sugar syrup comprising of a mixture of sugar, water and ascorbic acid. Sweeten to taste, but a rule of thumb is 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid per quart of water.

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