FIVE SIMPLE STEPS TO PEACH PERFECTION
Select fruit that is firm and fragrant. Be aware that the blush of a peach does not indicate ripeness, but is a way of identifying the variety.
Remove fruit immediately from the container in which it was purchased and sort according to ripeness.
Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator or enjoy right away.
To ripen firm fruit, store at room temperature and out of direct sunlight in a loosely closed paper bag for a day or two. Note; plastic bags are not suitable for ripening fruit, as they will trap moisture and air, which can cause premature spoilage, so always use paper bags.
Step 5 Once ripe, store tender fruit in the refrigerator for up to one week or enjoy right away.
TIP: THE FRUIT IS READY WHEN IT'S SWEETLY AROMATIC AND YIELDS TO GENTLE PRESSURE. NEVER WASH FRUIT BEFORE STORING, WAIT UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO EAT.
STORAGE & HANDLING OF PEACHES
Look for a creamy or yellow background, not green. Don't be afraid to buy firm fruit
Dip peaches in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds; immediately place in ice water. Rub peach skins off by hand.
Peel, pit and slice. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) fruit preservative to 4 cups (1 L) sliced peaches. Pack tightly into plastic containers, leaving 1-inch (2.5-cm) air space at top. Top with a crumpled sheet of wax paper and seal tightly. Frozen peaches can be stored for one year.
To Prevent Browning:
Coat sliced peaches with lemon juice or fruit preservative immediately after slicing.
STORAGE AND HANDLING OF PLUMS
To select: Ontario plums should have good colour and yield gently to slight pressure. Keep in mind that plums are often picked and sold slightly firm.
To core: Slice plums along seam; twist and remove pit.
To peel: Dip plums in boiling water 30 to 60 seconds; immediately place in ice water. Rub plum skins off by hand.
STORAGE AND HANDLING OF PEARS
Choose Ontario pears that are firm. Don't be misled by scars or minor surface blemishes - they won't affect the flesh or taste.
Slice pears lengthwise; using a spoon or melon-baller and working from the base of the pear, scoop out core. Peel if desired.
To Prevent Browning:
Coat sliced pears with lemon juice immediately after slicing.
STORAGE AND HANDLING OF CHERRIES
IMPORTANT ORDERING/PURCHASING INSTRUCTIONS
Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries are a fresh, highly perishable product. Freezing as soon as possible after purchasing is essential to maintain highest quality. To assist consumers, Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries are packaged and sold already pitted.
Red tart cherries are sold in 5 kg pails with red lids and black sweet cherries are sold in 4.5 kg pails with black lids.
Don't miss out on this cherrific opportunity to have fresh from the orchard goodness available year round by ordering Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries in advance. Retailers will stock fresh chilled pitted cherries daily, but to avoid disappointment, consumers should pre-order their pails of Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries through the Produce Department or Customer Service Desk.
Ontario Chilled and Pitted pails may not be readily visible in store due to space constraints within retail Produce departments. You can request pails from the Produce Manager as they are sometimes stored in back room coolers.
To preserve tart cherries for year-round enjoyment, this fruit is packed in pails, lightly sugared (10 per cent by weight) and shipped immediately to coolers for quick chilling.
For convenience, all Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries can be frozen in their pails or for faster freezing they can be packaged in small containers or freezer bags with a sufficient amount for a pie (4 cups/1 L) or desserts (2 cups/500 mL).
Time starved? Here's a solution … pails of Ontario Chilled and Pitted Cherries can be frozen whole. When you're ready to use the cherries, remove the pail from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Scoop out the amount of cherries required and return pail to freezer. It's that easy!
STORAGE & HANDLING OF TABLE GRAPES
Select only those that are firmly attached to their stems and are a full blue colour.
Once at home, leave the grapes in their container and store in the refrigerator. Use the grapes within 7 to 10 days. Just before serving, wash them gently in a colander.
Freezing grapes is simple. Wash, dry and de-stem grapes. Pack in airtight containers and freeze. No sugar is required because the natural high sugar and acid level in Ontario Coronation Table
Grapes act as a natural preservative. Eat as a snack right from the freezer. Frozen grapes can replace fresh grapes in every recipe as they retain their intense colour and flavour and hold their shape when thawed. When using frozen grapes for preserves, thaw in refrigerator just until crushable.