What's the best way to freeze fresh summer fruits, particularly cherries, peaches, strawbs., etc. and how long will they last? Is it possible to freeze black figs? Thanks to all.
You can freeze summer fruits. Be sure to wrap them properly and squeeze out as air as possible. They should taste fresh for about 6 months.
I've never frozen cherries but have frozen peach slices, blueberries and raspberries with no sugar added to the fruit. I spread out the berries on a baking sheet and placed in the freezer until frozen. Then bagged the berries and, as dymnyno said, squeezed out as much air as possible before placing in the freezer. I just found a bag of raspberries that I froze last summer.....and they were still good!
I prefer to freeze individually on a sheet pan until frozen. The you can package without crushing the fruit. The best is to vacuum pack. (a very worthwhile investment)
Good advice above for berries. For best results, peaches should be "prepped" (blanch quickly to remove skins), slice and remove pits. Then freeze (again removing as much air as possible). Similarly, with cherries you will want to remove pits first (you can use a cherry pitter, but a straw or opened paperclip both work really well to "push" the pit through. Also, if you're interested, you can do a web search and find a recipe for making bitters with the pits. A friend of mine did that last summer and the bitters were FANTASTIC!). All stone fruits should have pits removed before freezing. Properly frozen fruit should last a year in your freezer. Be sure to use good quality freezer bags. With those fruits that tend to discolor (like peaches), you may want to toss with a fair amount of lemon juice before freezing to prevent browning. If the fruit does brown, remember it is natural and does not affect taste or quality.