How to Freeze Apricots?

Apricots are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed fresh, dried, canned, or cooked. However, they have a short season and can spoil quickly if not stored properly. If you have a surplus of apricots and want to preserve them for later use, freezing is a great option. Freezing apricots is easy, fast, and convenient. You can freeze apricots whole, sliced, or pureed, depending on how you plan to use them later. In this article, we will show you how to freeze apricots in three different ways, as well as how to thaw and prepare them for your recipes.

Key Takeaways

  • Freezing apricots is a simple way to extend their shelf life and enjoy their flavor year-round.
  • You can freeze apricots whole, sliced, or pureed, depending on your preference and intended use.
  • To thaw apricots, place them in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours. Do not thaw at room temperature or in the microwave, as this can affect the texture and flavor of the fruit.

How to Freeze Apricots Whole

Freezing apricots whole is the easiest and quickest method. It preserves the shape and texture of the fruit and allows you to use it as fresh later. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash the apricots under cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel or a clean cloth. This will remove any dirt and bacteria from the surface of the fruit.
  2. Place the apricots in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Make sure they are not touching each other to prevent sticking.
  3. Freeze the apricots until they are firm, which may take several hours or overnight depending on the size of the fruit and the temperature of your freezer.
  4. Transfer the apricots to a freezer-safe bag or container. Label it with the date and contents and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it. This will prevent freezer burn and ice crystals from forming on the fruit.
  5. Store the apricots in the freezer for up to 12 months.

How to Freeze Apricots Sliced

How to Freeze Apricots?Pin
"Apricots Vacuum Packed for Freezing" by bbum is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Freezing apricots sliced is another popular method that allows you to portion out the fruit according to your needs. It also prevents browning by dipping the slices in an acidic solution before freezing. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash the apricots under cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel or a clean cloth.
  2. Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits with a knife or a spoon. You can peel them if you prefer, but it is not necessary.
  3. Dip the apricot halves in lemon juice or pineapple juice for about 10 seconds each. This will prevent oxidation and browning of the flesh when exposed to air.
  4. Place the apricot halves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Make sure they are not touching each other to prevent sticking.
  5. Freeze the apricot halves until they are firm, which may take several hours or overnight depending on the size of the fruit and the temperature of your freezer.
  6. Transfer the apricot halves to a freezer-safe bag or container. Label it with the date and contents and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
  7. Store the apricot halves in the freezer for up to 12 months.
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How to Freeze Apricots Pureed

Freezing apricots pureed is a convenient method that allows you to use the fruit for making smoothies, sauces, baby food, and more. It also eliminates the need for peeling and pitting later. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash the apricots under cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel or a clean cloth.
  2. Peel the apricots with a knife or by blanching them in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then plunging them in ice water for a few minutes. The skins should come off easily.
  3. Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits with a knife or a spoon.
  4. Blend the apricots with sugar and water in a blender or food processor until smooth. You can adjust the amount of sugar and water according to your taste and preference. A general ratio is 3 to 4 ounces of sugar and 4 tablespoons of water for every pound of apricots.
  5. Pour the apricot puree into ice cube trays or freezer bags. If using ice cube trays, fill each compartment about three-quarters full. If using freezer bags, fill them about halfway full and flatten them for even freezing.
  6. Freeze the apricot puree until solid, which may take several hours or overnight depending on the size of the cubes or bags and the temperature of your freezer.
  7. Transfer the apricot puree cubes or bags to a larger freezer-safe bag or container. Label it with the date and contents and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
  8. Store the apricot puree in the freezer for up to 12 months.
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How to Thaw Frozen Apricots

To thaw frozen apricots, you have two options:

  • Refrigerator method: Place the frozen apricots in a bowl or a colander and put them in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours until they are thawed. This is the best method for preserving the quality and flavor of the fruit.
  • Cold water method: Place the frozen apricots in a sealed plastic bag and submerge it in a bowl of cold water for a few hours until they are thawed. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. This is a faster method, but it may result in some loss of nutrients and juice.

Do not thaw frozen apricots at room temperature or in the microwave, as this can cause them to become mushy and lose their flavor.

How to Prepare Frozen Apricots

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Once you have thawed your frozen apricots, you can use them as you would use fresh ones for your recipes. However, keep in mind that frozen apricots may have a softer texture and more liquid than fresh ones, so you may need to adjust your cooking time and ingredients accordingly.

Here are some ideas for using frozen apricots:

  • Make jam: Cook the thawed apricots with sugar, lemon juice, and pectin in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. Transfer to sterilized jars and seal them. Enjoy on toast, muffins, pancakes, or yogurt.
  • Make sauce: Simmer the thawed apricots with sugar, water, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a small pot over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and glossy. Serve over ice cream, cake, cheesecake, or pudding.
  • Make pie: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish. In a large bowl, toss the thawed apricots with sugar, flour, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Pour into the prepared pie dish and dot with butter. Cover with a pie crust and cut some slits on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let it cool slightly before serving.
  • Make smoothie: Blend the thawed apricots with yogurt, milk, honey, vanilla extract, and ice cubes in a blender until smooth and frothy. Enjoy as a refreshing drink or snack.
  • Make baby food: Mash or puree the thawed apricots with a fork or a blender until smooth and creamy. Add some water if needed to adjust the consistency. Feed your baby with a spoon or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Conclusion

Freezing apricots is a simple and effective way to preserve this delicious and nutritious fruit for later use. Whether you choose to freeze them whole, sliced, or pureed, you can enjoy their flavor and benefits year-round. Just remember to follow the proper steps for preparing, freezing, thawing, and using your frozen apricots. You will be amazed by how versatile and convenient they are for making various dishes and drinks. Try freezing some apricots today and see for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I freeze unripe apricots? No, it is not recommended to freeze unripe apricots, as they will not ripen after freezing and will have a sour taste and a hard texture. Only freeze ripe but firm apricots that have a sweet aroma and no green patches on their skin.
  2. Can I freeze apricots with pits? Yes, you can freeze apricots with pits if you are freezing them whole. However, it is easier to remove the pits before freezing if you are planning to slice or puree them later. Removing the pits also reduces the risk of breaking your teeth when eating frozen apricots.
  3. Can I freeze apricots without sugar? Yes, you can freeze apricots without sugar if you prefer a natural and low-calorie option. However, sugar helps to preserve the color, flavor, and texture of the fruit, so you may notice some changes in these aspects after freezing. To minimize these changes, you can use lemon juice or pineapple juice instead of sugar to prevent browning and add some sweetness. You can also blanch the apricots in boiling water for a few seconds before freezing to deactivate the enzymes that cause deterioration.
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