What to Do with All the Fruit?

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Despite last weeks reported disappointments, we must be doing something right in other parts of our yard because it is becoming increasingly harder to find counter space in our kitchen. Is your kitchen counter the same each summer? We are truly at that point in zucchini season where you are ready to sneak over and pop a few into the neighbors mailbox and run for dear life. If I knew that our neighbors didn’t already grow plenty of zucchini I would have done so already. In fact our neighbor across the street was the one who inspired us to grow these Portofino zucchini’s which are our favorite by far.
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The peach and nectarine tree are ripe this week which means lots of canning, fruit roll ups and of course peach margaritas!
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Do you have any ideas for preserving fruit besides canning? Enough people have suggested dehydrating that I might just give that a try this year. We’ve tried freezing bags of cut up peaches, but besides using them in smoothies we haven’t found them to be a very useful. I’d love to hear more suggestions.

UPDATE: Yesterday I made this fantastic peach galette that a former collegue created. It was fantastic! Give it a try.

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16 Comments

Filed under fruit trees, just picked

16 responses to “What to Do with All the Fruit?

  1. Frozen fruit is good in cobblers too. Yum. I love peach cobbler. I can also imagine them in sauces for meat. Peach soup? My mom used to make fruit leather every year. I’m not a fan, but I know a lot of people love them. But besides canning, freezing and dehydrating I don’t know of anyway to preserve. You can make syrups out of them, but then again that is canning.

  2. Lauren

    This southern girl echoes the cobbler note above. Freezing it would also be great for smoothies.

  3. My mother-in-law froze some cut up peaches in containers last year that she had bought when she was visiting family in Virginia. I don’t know how she prepared them before she froze them, but my goodness they were delicious! I thawed them and just ate them from the container. Of course, we are hard pressed to find truly good peaches here in Ohio, so maybe that’s why they were so yummy. If you have too many peaches, I’ll give you my address and you can send me some!

  4. We used frozen peaches in homemade ice cream and made peach chutney. The chutney was a learning experience. Not great (it needed more spicey heat) but definitely edible and a treat in the cold of winter.

  5. kitter

    Popsicles! I puree (blender) whatever fruit is about to go bad, mix in some yogurt, milk, or whatever, and freeze in popsicle molds and ice cube trays (and often drink some as smoothies). The kids love them. I put the “fruit ice cubes” in one of those mesh feeder things for the baby – a big hit.
    I’ve been wanting to do peach ice cream too… mmmm…

  6. looking good! I just walked around the yard yesterday and collected lots of cucumbers (I can share), some beans and strawberries. Our plum and peach tree are duds this year :( not sure what happend. I don’t know if those weird hot weeks in winter (when everything suddenly bloomed) and then the cold got the buds or what but I’ve been hearing from many others the same thing. Total bummer – I’m hoping our other fruits will produce. We skipped the squash this year b/c of the abundance of it from friends (I’m already almost over it!). But I know I need to eat up now b/c come winter I will be craving it. That’s why it’s so good to eat seasonally – you are so over it by the end of the season that it takes until the following season to be ready to eat them again.

    Speaking of eating – I actually ate my first ripe tomato yesterday! That was the only one – the others aren’t even close.

  7. If your just going to bake with it and it would get mushy anyway, why not just freeze your produce?

    • If you are into pies I suggest you line a pie tin with whatever is acceptable in your kitchen, fill it with the fruit just as you would if you were making a pie. Cover it. Put it in the freezer. When solid remove it from the pie tin. Return the pie tin to the kitchen.
      When ready for a pie some dark and stormy night. Place the pie crust in the pie tin, add the frozen filling and finish off the pie.

      Or, you could just make fruit leather.

  8. Fruit leather is always good, I puree my fruit, add plain yogurt and some sugar (if needed) and dry. The yogurt makes the leather nice and chewy.
    Peach wine must be delicious, the only problem is you don’t need a lot of fruit to make wine.
    I’ve made sloe gin with wild sloes (a type of wild plum) before, I’m sure you could do something similar with peaches. Perhaps even make a peach flavoured schnapps!
    You can make peach vinegar too.
    I empathize with finding enough ways to use abundance – what a fun thing to say :)
    Good luck!

  9. Gigi

    I heard somewhere that dehydrating slices of zucchini is great. Apparently they rehydrate to fresh tasting and even good texture for stir fry.
    The low desert is a great place for dehydrating outside. We do peaches and other fruit all season. It’s amazing how many pounds of fruit can end up fitting in a quart jar!
    Also, you can try canning the traditional way (Pre-”old-fashioned”). It is similar to “salt sauerkraut” and is done with no cooking -for a raw product; although be sure to have a cool place for storage. I refer to recipes from “Nourishing Traditions” book, although I am sure there are recipes online. maybe here? http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=vegetables

  10. My favourite jam is peach jam, without a doubt. Have you tried it? You could dry some peaches but I’ve found they usually go a horrible brown colour if they’re dried in the sun. Maybe oven drying would be the way to go. You could make peach ice cream, peaches are good grilled as a side dish or you could barter them for something you need, like honey, eggs or bread. Peaches are the one thing I buy by the box full since we had to chop down our tree (fruit fly). I envy you your peaches and nectarines.

  11. Kim

    Ditto what Patricia said…or you can freeze an unbaked pie. We eat thawed frozen fruit “as is” all the time. You could also make wonderful Simple Sorbet by Mark Bittman of the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/dining/10mini.html?scp=1&sq=bittman%20sorbet&st=cse

  12. Kim

    I was also going to say that many food banks welcome donations of excess produce. So many food banks have a dearth of fresh food to offer their clients.

    And what about a sharing club? Anybody you know who might have different fruit or produce on offer might be willing to make a trade.

  13. Jenny

    Another way to freeze peaches without them getting too mushy is to cut in 1/2 or slices and freeze on a greased cookie sheet 1st. Once frozen place in a freezer bag. Fruit won’t be as firm as fresh, but still very good. We like a couple peach halves with warm maple syrup in the winter for dessert.

  14. I just posted a blog on local canning and preserving resources. Please share this!

    http://sono-ma.blogspot.com/2009/08/community-to-can-tunring-summers-bounty.html

  15. Pingback: Four Years of Julys | A Sonoma Garden

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