Did u Know u can Freeze Peaches So You Can Enjoy a Fresh Taste of Summer All Year When the peach season ends, it doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy all of those beautiful fruits you’ve been using to make your favorite homemade summer pie, easy peach crisp, or the classic peach cobbler, especially if you consider freezing them. We love peaches. And while their season is rather brief, running from June to September, per Lane Southern Orchards, the United States is still able to grow about 690,000 tons of these fuzzy sweet fruits each year.
Where in the U.S. do we find the most peaches? While it might surprise you to learn that although Georgia is nicknamed the Peach State, California grows the most amounts of this fruit in the U.S., per Greenville News. However, according to Frog Hollow Farm, this fuzzy deliciousness actually comes from China, and they are still the largest producer in the world. Regardless of who has bragging rights for being the biggest peach grower, the fruit has always been beloved. Queen Victoria was said to be a fan of it, and Thomas Jefferson planted peach trees at his Monticello home in Virginia.
Peaches are pretty fantastic, but if you are going to freeze these babies to retain all their juicy goodness for a later date, you need to know the most important aspect of this preservation method so they will stay good for months to come.
Steps to Freezing Peaches So They Stay Good For Months
Step 1: Slit the Skin on Each Peach
First, wash the peaches with cool tap water, but do not soak them; drain. Then, use a sharp knife, to make a shallow X on the bottom of each peach. This step allows for expansion when the peaches get blanched.
Step 2: Blanch Peaches for Freezing
Blanching (plunging fruit or vegetables into boiling water and then ice water to stop the cooking) firms the flesh, heightens flavor, and loosens the skin to ease peeling.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Carefully lower three or four peaches into the boiling water. Remove after 30 to 60 seconds.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches from boiling water to the bowl of ice water.
Step 3: Peel the Peaches
When the peaches are cool enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin from each peach.
Step 4: Remove Peach Pits
To get that pesky pit out of the way, here’s what to do.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each peeled peach in half around the pit.
- Gently twist each half to expose the pit.
- Using the knife, pry the pit out of the peach.
Leave peaches halved, or slice if you desire.
Step 5: Treat Peaches with a Color-Keeper Solution
o preserve the color of the peaches, treat them with an ascorbic-acid color-keeper. The main ingredient in this commercial product is vitamin C, and it prevents fruits, like apple and peach slices, from oxidizing and turning brown during freezing and canning. Follow package directions for use
Packing Peaches for Freezing in a Water or Syrup Pack
Peaches are usually frozen with added sugar or liquid for better flavor (unless you’re looking to flash freeze peaches). Here are your options and the packing instructions for each.
Freezing Peaches in a Water Pack
If you’re wondering how to freeze peaches without sugar, this is a great option: Spoon peaches into a pint- or quart-size freezer container (do not use glass jars), leaving ½ inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Pour water over the peaches, maintaining the specified headspace.
Freezing Peaches in a Sugar Pack
Spoon a short layer of peaches into a pint- or quart-size freezer container. Sprinkle lightly with sugar; repeat layering, leaving ½ inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until juicy before freezing.
Freezing Peaches in a Syrup Pack
With this method, you cover the fruit with a syrup made from boiling water and sugar. Generally, heavier syrups (which are sweeter) are used with sour fruits, while lighter syrups are recommended for mild fruits.
To make the syrup, place the following specified amounts of sugar and water in a large saucepan.
- Very Thin Syrup: Use 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4 cups syrup.
- Thin Syrup: Use 1⅔ cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4¼ cups syrup.
- Medium Syrup: Use 2⅔ cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4⅔ cups syrup.
- Heavy Syrup: Use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 5¾ cups syrup.
Heat and stir the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary. (Note: Allow ½ to ⅔ cup syrup for every 2 cups of peaches.) Chill the syrup.
Spoon peaches into pint-size or quart-size freezer containers leaving ½-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Pour chilled syrup over the peaches, maintaining the specified headspace.
Freezing Peach Packs
Here’s how to freeze peaches once you’ve packed them using one of the methods above:
- Wipe container rims (if using jars or plastic containers). Seal bags or containers according to the manufacturer’s directions, pressing out as much air as possible. If necessary, use freezer tape around the lid edges for a tight seal.
- Label each container or bag with its contents, amount, and date. Lay bags flat; add packages to the freezer in batches to make sure food freezes quickly. Leave space between packages so air can circulate around them. When frozen solid, the packages can be placed closer together.
- Use frozen peaches within 6 to 8 months.