Nothing says summer like taking a bite into a fresh, juicy peach. Capture that flavour of summer and learn to freeze peaches so they last until next peach season. It’s way easier than you think, and you don’t have to peel off the skin if you don’t want to. Here’s how I do it, and my answers to questions that you might have.
Where do you get Large Quantities of Peaches?
Unfortunately, peaches are one of the few fruits that we can’t grow in Saskatchewan. I love getting fresh peaches from the fruit truck in a big box. Ask how ripe the peaches are and plan accordingly with when you have time to deal with them. The nice thing about freezing peaches, is that it takes far less time than canning!
Do You Have to Peel Peaches Before Freezing them?
It’s up to you. I personally find that if I rub the peach with a towel after I’ve washed it that I can get most of the fuzzy bits off. I have a new baby and not a lot of nap time in which to do things, so I prefer to do it this way and skip the blanching step.
If you can’t stand the texture, then boil the peaches for 2 minutes, and immediately transfer into an ice water bath. The skins should peel right off.
How Do You Keep Peaches From Turning Brown?
Once you’ve cut the peaches, mix them with lemon juice and a bit of sugar. It doesn’t really matter what amounts, but for context, if I cut 12 peaches, I would use the juice of a whole lemon and 1 cup of white sugar to preserve the colour.
Related: Cinnamon Peach Jam
How Long Do Frozen Peaches Last?
Frozen peaches should be used within the year, and ideally within six months for optimum freshness. As long as they are not freezer burnt and smell and taste fine, you can use them. And as they say, “when in doubt, throw it out!”
Frozen peaches will keep better the more air you remove from the package. Make sure to use bags designed for freezer use, as this will help keep the frozen peaches fresher for longer.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Peaches?
Once you’re ready to use the peaches, place the bag in a bowl and let thaw in the fridge. You can start the process on the counter, but move the peaches to the fridge once they are half-way or more done. If you’re in a hurry, you can also thaw them out in the microwave.
Related: The Beginners Guide to Home Canning
Step by Step Guide to Freezing Fresh Peaches
- Wash fresh peaches and remove skins if desired.
- Cut into small pieces and remove pits.
- If using the peaches for smoothies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay peaches in a flat layer. Put in the freezer for 6 hours or overnight. Remove and put into freezer safe bags.
- If using the peaches for pie or baking, put peach pieces into a large bowl. Mix with lemon juice and white sugar. Suggested quantity: Juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup sugar to every 12 peaches.
- Transfer to freezer bags in 2, 4, or 6 cup quantities, depending on how you plan to use the peaches later.
- Flatten the bag with the peaches and carefully remove as much air as possible.
- Lay the bag(s) flat in the freezer. Flattened bags are easier to store and free up freezer space.
- Enjoy all year long!
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