Damsons are a delicious fruit and are very similar to plums, only smaller. They can be eaten as they are or made into a jam, jelly, or chutney. You can use them in deserts such as crumbles, pies, or clafoutis and even in savory dishes like duck leg casserole with red wine and damsons.
However, what if you grow them and have a glut of them or if the store has them on sale and you want to stock up? How can you preserve them for future use? The simple answer is to freeze them.
Like most fruits, they freeze well, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze damsons and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Damsons?
1. Make sure that the damsons are fresh and ripe.
If you have any bruised or over-ripe damsons, discard them.
2. Wash the damsons.
Put the damsons in a colander and put them under a cold tap. Massage them with your hands to make sure that all the dirt has gone. You don’t want to leave any debris on your damsons when you freeze them.
3. Peel and slice the damsons.
You don’t have to peel the damsons if you don’t want to. However, a lot of the flavor and nutrients are in the skin so you may want to keep them on. Damsons are just as tasty with the skins on as with them off. When you come to slice them, you will be able to remove the pits as there is no reason to freeze them.
4. Dry the damsons.
Dry the damsons with paper towels. Make sure that the damsons are completely dry before you freeze them. If you don’t, the damsons could become mushy when they are defrosted.
5. Put the damsons in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out as much air as possible out of the freezer bag to stop freezer burn from occurring. The damsons will probably still be safe to eat but they will lose taste and texture, and perhaps even nutrients. Put a label on the bag with the date and contents. You don’t want to keep them in the freezer for any longer than they should be.
Tips For Freezing Damsons
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
- Ensure that the damsons are ripe as they won’t ripen in the freezer. If your damsons aren’t ripe yet, put them in a bowl and leave them to ripen before freezing.
- If you have a lot of damsons, you may want to divide them into portions and put them in separate freezer bags. Then you will only defrost as many damsons as you need for your recipe and will save on waste.
- Freeze the damsons in a syrup of sugar and lemon. This helps them to retain their color. If you don’t do this, they may discolor although the taste and texture won’t be affected.
For How Long Can You Freeze Damsons?
You can freeze damsons for around three months. You can keep them in the fruit bowl for around a week and for a few days longer in the fridge, so if you want to keep them for longer, you should freeze them.
How Do You Defrost Damsons?
The best way to defrost damsons is slow and steady. This helps them to retain taste and texture. Take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge. They will defrost within three to four hours and will be ready to use in your favorite recipe.
However, if you want to use the damsons in a smoothie or juice, you can use them frozen. Just take them out of the freezer and put them straight in your blender. If you are using different fruits in your drink, you could even freeze a mixture of fruits (see also Should You Freeze Fruit Juice?) together and then just put them straight in the blender. You will have your breakfast drink in no time at all.
Can You Refreeze Damsons?
While it’s safe to refreeze damsons and most other fruit, we don’t recommend it. The reason for this is that when you freeze any item, ice crystals are formed on the food. While you can get away with this once, this happening a second time can ruin the texture of your damsons. The moisture content will be affected, and you will probably end up with mushy damsons. The taste may also be altered, and they won’t be as sweet and tasty as they could be.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Damsons?
Yes, it is a good idea to freeze damsons. They freeze particularly well as long as you freeze them when they are ripe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing damsons but in case you still have questions about freezing damsons or damsons in general, we have answered a few questions here.
Yes, you can. They are really just a bigger version of damsons so you can freeze them in the same way as you would damsons. They are also best frozen with their skins on.
Quince doesn’t belong to the same family as damsons but they are used in similar ways. For example, you can make crumbles, pies, and other desserts with both. They also go well with cheese. You can freeze them in the same way as you would freeze damsons.
You can but we don’t recommend it unless you are going to eat them whole. If you are making a dish, it is better to freeze the damsons in the way you intend to use them. This will highly likely be in slices. It is also easier if you plan to make a smoothie and want to use the damsons from frozen.
Try damson fool or damson custard tartlets. Make a sauce to go with your Chinese meal. Finally, damsons make delicious wine.