Save That Stone Fruit!

“Stone fruits are almost out of season”, I overheard the produce manager comment to a customer the other day at Whole Foods, after she’d asked where to find the cherries we’ve been able to buy recently.

Disappointed, she shrugged her shoulders but understood the rationale.

I, too, wish the season were longer, as there’s nothing quite like a ripe, juicy peach, fresh off the tree, or some sliced cherries as a key component to a reduction I make for elk tenderloin.

Of course, if one wanted to, they could easily get these fruits all year round here in California, but I prefer not to eat plums from Argentina and peaches from Chile in December.  Just sayin’.

However, there’s a way to make the bounty last, at least for a little while; freeze it!

Washing, pitting, slicing and vaccuum sealing is the way to go to make that little taste of summer linger just a little longer.

Throw them into smoothies in their frozen state, or let them thaw just a little, then puree to create the base for sweeter type sauce, dip or puree.

Make sure not to allow any air to remain in the package before you freeze it; not doing so will ensure ice crystal formation on the delicate fruits themselves, which will defeat the idea of preserving them via freezing in the first place.

You’ll be glad you hung on to these delicious little stone fruits when you add some peach to an otherwise ‘apples-only’ Paleo dessert concoction or throw some nectarine into a cilantro, olive oil, garlic and jalapeno puree to serve with fish.

Summer is a state of mind!