Step by step: pick and store summer fruits

Step by step: pick and store summer fruits

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If nature is generous, it tends to give everything at once and at the same time, to the chagrin of the gardener who finds his hands loaded with all kinds of fruit which he does not know what to do ... until today ! As far as fruit storage is concerned, if there are many possibilities - drying, storage, jars, freezing, processing, etc. - time is running out. We will have to face this sudden windfall which rewards the previous long months of patience. If certain fruits can only be preserved after a culinary preparation - peaches, plums, blackberries ... - others have the advantage of being able to be preserved without preparation - pears and apples -, with all the same some precautions during the pickup and storage. We will see how to simply pick and store pears and apples, and prepare peaches for the most natural conservation possible in order to avoid excessively altering their taste. The ideal is to pick the fruits after a few days of good weather, so that they are not too full of water and that their sugars are not dissolved. To store as long as possible - and within the limits of our means, that is to say away from industrial procedures -, the prerequisite will be to have a room. Ideally located in the north, dark, airy with average humidity (ideal between 65 and 70% humidity) and a cool temperature (between 6 and 7 ° C). Of course, few of us can offer such a luxurious stay with the fruits of our garden. For this reason, but also depending on the varieties, the shelf life can vary very significantly. Difficulty : easy Cost : less than 5 euros Tools required : - sealing wax for pears - crates, fruit trees or crate - jars and freezer bags

Step 1: Picking

Apples :
The apples are picked as late as possible in the season, but also during the day, ideally sunny.
Pick them up when they come off easily by spinning them around.
You will not keep the crooked apples, or those that have fallen to the ground that you will have to eat quickly, for example by making a delicious homemade compote. Pears :
Depending on the variety, the time of harvest varies considerably. Summer pears must be picked 1 to 2 weeks before they are fully ripe in order to keep them for a few days, because they will ripen quickly anyway. If you pick them when fully ripe, they will become chard before you can even eat or prepare them! Proceed in two, or more if possible, the largest first, then the following week those who will have finished growing. Winter pears, known as "guard", are harvested for their part in October. If you pick a winter pear too early, it may wilt, or remain green without developing any real taste value.
To pick a pear without damaging it, lift it by levering: if its peduncle yields, it is because its time has come. Unlike the apple, a simple rotation of the pear can mislead you, because they detach less well in this way and you risk damaging the pear at the base of the peduncle, and therefore cause its premature rotting. Likewise, trust your sense of smell: the perfume of the mature pear is perfectly recognizable!
Finally, note that, as with apples, there is no point in hoping to keep a pear that has fallen to the ground. Peaches :
The best time to pick them is in the morning, after the dew. Even more sensitive than pears, they will take all your consideration if you want to have time to prepare them. An unfortunate gesture to avoid ... that of pinching them to test their maturity.
Peaches fall on their own, even before they are ripe. Also pay special attention to the weather and devastating gusts of wind, knowing that they will finish ripening even after picking.

Step 2: Conservation

Apples : If you want to give them around, or if you are planning a trip (to the campsite, to stepmother…), you can pick them a few days before maturity.
Let them dry for a few days in the shelter before storing them. As with pears, it is possible to store them in a fruit tree which will be placed in a dry, cool and dark place. In this way, you will keep them for a long time. Try to keep the apples on the skin as much as possible. Indeed, if the commercial apples must be peeled because of the different treatments, the apples in your garden are healthy and the skin is full of treasures excellent for health (quercetin, vitamin C, fibers, mineral salts…). Pears :
If you want to keep your winter pears for a few months, there is an optional step, whose effectiveness seems relative, but fun enough not to be omitted, which consists of coating the peduncle with wax to avoid drying out. A precaution: do not use your usual kitchen utensils, because the wax stains.
The pears will be stored in a room that is neither too humid (risk of rotting), nor too dry (risk of wilting), protected from light and as fresh as possible. Do not expect to keep them for more than 3 months under these conditions. As it is not easy to make a pear stand upright, place them side by side, without tightening them, and regularly monitor their condition by systematically removing any pear which would give signs of weakness.

Step 3: The transformation

For apples and pears, there are many recipes, but we only want to use preservation techniques that allow their reuse in various recipes. Peaches : No miracle, no other solution than going through canned food or freezing. In all cases, you will need to peel them, cut them in half to pit them.
For the jars: place the pieces in the jars, and tamp well - the fruits can lose half their volume -, and add nothing, neither water nor sugar. Close and place in a bain-marie for 30 minutes at 75 ° C.
For freezing, there are two steps. The first is to "freeze" each half peach separately. To do this, place each peach half on a metal plate, the size of which allows insertion into the freezer. Otherwise, the use of parchment paper is possible. The second step is to peel off each half of the metal plate (or parchment paper) as quickly as possible, so as to fill bags that will be returned to the freezer. Thus, you will keep the possibility of using each half separately, according to your needs. To consume in the following year. Our practical garden videos


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