My dear DH acquired a bushel of beautiful local peaches for me late last week. I gave half to another baker-friend at work, but I still had 25 peaches to deal with!
After peach ice cream Friday night, peach milkshakes Saturday, and a peach cobbler on Sunday, I knew I had to find some way to store the remainder of my peaches before they went bad.
As I'm still in a teeny apartment, canning was out. No place to store it.
But I could freeze them!
I did some research on the proper way to freeze peaches, because I wanted to make sure they'd be useful in more than just smoothies when I defrosted them.
I came across a fabulous set of directions here -- and decided that if I didn't know the proper way to freeze peaches, other people probably didn't either -- so here ya go!
Freezing Peaches *
*This process is also recommended for plums, cherries, or nectarines
Step 1: Select Your Fruit
- Fruit should be sweet, and ripe, but not overly-ripe and mushy
Step 2: How Many Peaches?
- It takes 5-6 good-sized peaches (or 10 plums) to produce 1 quart of frozen fruit
Step 3: Prepare the Sugar (or other sweetener) Solution
- You can store your peaches in simple syrup, peach, white grape, or apple juice -- your choice!
- This sugar-y solution/fruit juice is added to help improve flavor and keep the fruit from turning nasty shades of brown while frozen
- This handy table came from the http://www.pickyourown.org website. It's handy if you're making a simple syrup to use for this process.
- Choose your level of sweetness by how sweet your fruit is.
- To make the syrup: Heat the water on the stove, and slowly stir in the sugar/Splenda, until completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and let the syrup cool completely before adding to the peaches.
- You'll need about 1 cup of simple syrup per quart of peaches
|Type of Syrup||Sugar||Water||Yield|
|Fruit juice (peach, apple or white grape)||0||0||4 cups|
|Splenda (2 cups)||0||6 cups||6 cups|
|Light sugar||2 cups||6 cups||7 cups|
|Medium sugar||3 cups||6 cups||6 1/2 cups|
|Heavy sugar||4 cups||6 cups||7 cups|
Step 4: Wash the Peaches
- Seriously...you can handle this step on your own.
Step 5: Peeling the Peaches
- Don't do this by hand -- it's a pain!
- Bring to a boil a large pot of water, add the washed peaches for 20-45 seconds. Then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately place in an ice water bath for several minutes.
Step 6: Cut Up the Peaches
- Remove the pits and slice the peaches however you prefer -- slices, quarters, whatever
- Be sure to remove any brown or mushy spots
Step 7: Prevent the Fruit From Darkening
- You can use 1/4 cup lemon juice, or Fruit-Fresh to help preserve the peaches color
- Add your lemon juice or fruit fresh, and gently mix with your hands to make sure all your peaches are covered
Step 8: Mix the Peaches with the Sweetener Solution
- In a large bowl, mix your sliced peaches, and 1 cup of the completely-cooled simple syrup (or fruit juice)
- Fill Ziploc bags (use the freezer style!) or Tupperware containers with peaches and simple syrup (Quart ziploc's work perfectly, but all I had was Gallon!)
Step 9: Freeze
- Place containers of peaches in the freezer to harden up.