Peaches are typically available May through September with the season peaking in July and August. During this time I find myself buying peck after peck of peaches because they are so delicious. I want to be able to enjoy these peaches all year round not just for a short couple of months. Freezing is a great way to preserve peaches for use later. Continue reading for instructions on how to choose and freeze peaches.
I prefer the freestone variety to make removing the pit easier. Choose peaches with golden yellow skin and no tinges of green. Ripe fruit should yield to gentle pressure and is intensely fragrant. There have been many times I have been walking through the produce section at the grocery store and have had to retrace my steps to track down what peach or nectarine was giving of such a heavenly scent.
If your peaches are not quite ripe enough, you can place them in a paper bag. Add a ripe banana to speed up the ripening process. Check the peaches every day by holding them in the palm of your hand and giving them a gentle squeeze rather than poking them with your thumb and index finger which could cause bruising. Remove any ripe peaches.
Prepping Peaches for Freezing
- Gently wash all of the peaches.
2. Slice a small X in the bottom of each peach being careful to not slice too deeply into the flesh. You only need to cut through the skin. This step allows for expansion when the peaches are blanched.
3. Place the peaches, a few at a time, in a large pot of boiling water for about thirty seconds. Don’t worry if the water starts to turn a brownish color. That is just some of the coloring from the skin reacting to air and water. You will know the peaches are ready when the skin begins to pull away from the flesh where you made your cuts. Use a slotted spoon to move the peaches to a bowl filled with ice water.
4. Once the peaches have cooled the skin should easily peel away.
5. To remove the pit, start at the stem end and slice down and all the way around the peach, keeping the blade up against the pit in the center. Twist the two halves in opposite directions and then pull apart to expose the pit. Then simply pop the pit free. Slice or chunk your peeled peaches.
4 Ways to Freeze Peaches
There are four different ways to freeze peaches. The method you choose depends on how you intend to use your frozen peaches.
Unsweetened or Dry Pack
The best thing about freezing peaches without added liquid or sugar is that you can use them as you would fresh peaches.
- In a large bowl toss the peach slices with lemon juice, crushed vitamin C tablets, or a fruit-preserving product such as Ball’s Fruit Fresh. This will help prevent browning.
- Lay the peaches out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the peaches in the freezer for about four hours.
- Pack peaches into a ziptop bag.
- Pour water or unsweetened fruit juice over the peaches.
- In a large bowl toss the peach slices with lemon juice, crushed vitamin C tablets, or a fruit-preserving product such as Ball’s Fruit Fresh along with ½ teaspoon of sugar for each peach added. This will help prevent browning and will release juices from the peaches, eliminating air pockets when freezing.
- Cover and allow the peaches to sit for 15 minutes until they become juicy.
Allow 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for every 2 cups peaches.
1. Choose a Syrup
- Very Light Syrup: Use 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4 cups syrup.
- Light Syrup: Use 1-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4-1/4 cups syrup.
- Medium Syrup: Use 2-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4-2/3 cups syrup.
- Heavy Syrup: Use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 5-3/4 cups syrup.
2. Prepare Syrup
Place the recommended amounts of sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary.
3. Pack Peaches
- Pack peaches into a ziptop bag.
- Pour syrup over the peaches.
- I like to package my peaches for freezing in zip-top bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible. I label each bag with the contents, amount, and date.
- To help your peaches freeze more quickly, make sure to lay the bags flat in the freezer. Leave space between the bags so air can circulate around them. Flat bags are also easier to store and will take up less room in a crowded freezer.
- Peaches can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.
To thaw frozen peaches, thaw in their container either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cool water. Depending on your recipe, you may want to drain the peaches before using; you can also use the peach juice as a marinade or add it to a fruit salad. You can treat the excess peach juice the same as you would treat extra juice from canned peaches.
Once you have defrosted your peaches here are some delicious recipes for you to try.
- Crock-Pot Easy Peach Cobbler – Crock-pot Ladies
- Chicken Pesto Flatbread with Summer Squash and Peaches – Climbing Grier Mountain
- Peach Crisp – Yellow Bliss Road
- Easy Summer Peach Cake – Natasha’s Kitchen
What are your favorite peach recipes?