As with your vegetable share, we suggest taking a quick inventory when you first bring your share home. Figure out which fruits need to be eaten ASAP, and which fruits could use a few days to ripen. If you have more “eat-it-now” fruit than you think you can handle, many fruits can be frozen for later use. Berries are prime candidates – simply freeze, unwashed. To freeze ripe peaches or nectarines – wash, slice away from the pit, and place slices in a freezer bag. The frozen fruit can be used in smoothies, ice creams or sorbets, or baked into cakes or pies later.
To ripen fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots, we recommend placing them in a paper bag on the counter. Make sure to check them daily and transfer ripe fruits into the refrigerator or eat them as they ripen. If you notice any bruised spots, eat, freeze or cook that piece of fruit immediately, because these spots will spoil more quickly.
Much of our fruit is left on the tree until they are fully ripe. This affords the best flavor, but also makes it more perishable. Two quick ideas for rescuing ripe fruit (other than gobbling it up, of course!)
1. Popsicles! – Blend ripe fruit in the blender or food processor (add a little water if needed). Taste for sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter popsicle, add a bit of your sweetener or fruit juice of choice. For a “grown up” version, add a bit of fresh mint or even basil (sparingly!). Pour into popsicle molds, add popsicle sticks, and freeze.
2. Dice up the good parts, discarding any major bruises. Cook the diced fruit in a pot with a couple of tablespoons of sugar for just a few minutes, until it starts to soften up and release its juices. Let cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Serve by itself or spooned over yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, pancakes or waffles. This method works well with stone fruits, berries, and, later in the season, apples and pears.