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Sunday
Sep182011

how to freeze peaches

After seeing me buy 10lbs of peaches, many of you were anticipating recipes to follow.

And what you ended up with were 6 zucchini recipes, and more on the way.

The truth is, I’m not big on cooked fruit in baked goods.  There are exceptions, but not many.  I’m not big on fruit pies, have never even tried cobbler, and anything filled with baked fruit [apple turnover type pastries], I’ll gladly pass on.  I would much rather enjoy the fruit on it’s own, in a smoothie, hot off the grill, or sometimes stirred into oatmeal. 

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Last summer I did make peach pie, and it was thoroughly enjoyed. 

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But these peaches were destined for my freezer.  Peaches in the winter? 

Cannot.

Wait.

But dear winter, let’s not rush things.

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After a good washing your peaches are ready to go.

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You’ll need just a few items:

  • peaches
  • lemons
  • pure cane sugar
  • heavy duty freezer bags [Whole Foods carries PVC + BPA free, 1gal freezer bags for about $2.50 qty.20]
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper [optional]

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The most important part of the process???

Waiting till your peaches are perfectly ripe.  Mine were about 1 day late.  Slightly too soft, but it still worked.  You want the peaches to have quite a bit of give, upon light squeezing, but you don’t want any mushiness. [<—super technical terminology here]

Now.  To cut the peaches.

1. With a sharp knife [I used a pairing knife], cut the peach all the way around.  Watch your fingers!  You want to hit the pit as you’re cutting.

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2. Hold each half of the peach + gently twist in opposite directions.  If your peach isn’t budging, there could be 2 problems.

  • you didn’t cut through to the pit
  • your peach is not ripe enough

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3. The peach should easily turn + then separate with a gentle pull.

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4. The easiest way I found to cut the 1/2 of the peach with the pit still in it, is to make angled slices hitting the pit.  Then, pluck each slice off.  This is much easier then trying to dig out the pit. 

Wait.  But aren’t you going to boil the peaches + peal the skins off?

  • Nope.  I guess that would be a good idea if you have plans to use your peaches in baked goods, but not the case with here.  I believe that is also the method if you’re going to can your peaches. 

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5.  In a large bowl, place the slices from 4-5 peaches. 

  • The reason you don’t want to cut all of the peaches, is that it makes it very difficult to toss and not smash the peaches at the bottom.  Trust me, I experienced this first hand.

6.  Gently stir with ~2T lemon juice + 1-2T pure cane sugar.  The measurements don’t have to be exact!  Yay! 

Why are we adding lemon juice + sugar?

Because…

  • This will keep the peaches from drying out + oxidizing in your freezer.  Not all fruit will oxidize [brown] upon freezing, but peaches will.  Most instructions I saw online called for a massive amount of sugar, but that should not be necessary.  The other option is using combining sugar with a product called “Fruit Fresh,” which is basically citric acid.  However, I feel much more comfortable using fresh lemon juice.

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7. On a baking sheet, line the slices up, so they are just shy of touching.  Repeat steps 2-5, until all of your peaches are lined up on the pans.  You can line your pan with or without parchment.  I tried both methods, and both worked. 

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I definitely ate a LOT of slices along the way.

Definitely after they were tossed in sugar.

8.  Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the peaches, when you have them lined up on the pan.

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9. Set on a flat surface, in your freezer and freeze until hard.  *If you want to leave them overnight, that’s fine!

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10. Carefully remove the peaches from the pan or parchment paper.  You want to work quickly, so the peaches don’t completely thaw.  *I thought I may have messed up, freezing them right to the pan, but after sitting out for 1-2min on the counter, they released easily with the help of a spatula. 

Oh, are you curious why we’re freezing the peaches on a pan before bagging them? 

Here’s why:

  • If you toss the peaches in a bag, directly after tossing them with the lemon juice + sugar, they will all freeze together in a large clump.  This will make it nearly impossible to grab a handful of peaches for a smoothie [or whatever you’re using them for].  Unless you want to use the whole bag at once, or bang the bag on the counter to release them.

(2 of 2)

11. Pack in freezer bags [they are thicker + prevent less air penetration] and squeeze out all of the air.  You may want to pack 1 tray at a time, and keep the rest in the freezer, to prevent thawing. 

12.  Place the bags in your freezer + use however you like!

(3 of 3)

And now, in a more consolidated format…

How to Freeze Peaches

  • 8lbs ripe peaches, thoroughly washed [appx. 25 medium peaches]
  • appx. 1/2c lemon juice [about 2-3 lemons]
  • appx. 1/2-2/3c pure cane sugar
  • 1-2, 1 gallon freezer bags
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper [optional]
  • 1 large bowl
  • 2 small bowls [for lemon juice + sugar]
  • pairing knife + cutting board
  1. With a sharp knife [I used a pairing knife], cut the peach all the way around.  Watch your fingers!  You want to hit the pit as you’re cutting.
  2. Hold each half of the peach + gently twist in opposite directions.  If your peach isn’t budging, there could be 2 problems.
    • you didn’t cut through to the pit
    • your peach is not ripe enough
  3. The peach should easily turn + then separate with a gentle pull.
  4. The easiest way I found to cut the 1/2 of the peach with the pit still in it, is to make angled slices hitting the pit.  Then, pluck each slice off.  This is much easier then trying to dig out the pit. 
  5. In a large bowl, place the slices from 4-5 peaches. 
    • The reason you don’t want to cut all of the peaches, is that it makes it very difficult to toss and not smash the peaches at the bottom.  Trust me, I experienced this first hand.
  6. Gently stir with ~2T lemon juice + 1-2T pure cane sugar.  The measurements don’t have to be exact!
  7. On a baking sheet, line the slices up, so they are just shy of touching.  Repeat steps 2-5, until all of your peaches are lined up on the pans.  You can line your pan with or without parchment.  I tried both methods, and both worked. 
  8. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the peaches, when you have them lined up on the pan.
  9. Set on a flat surface, in your freezer and freeze until hard.  *If you want to leave them overnight, that’s fine!
  10. Carefully remove the peaches from the pan or parchment paper.  You want to work quickly, so the peaches don’t completely thaw.  *I thought I may have messed up, freezing them right to the pan, but after sitting out for 1-2min on the counter, they released easily with the help of a spatula.
  11. Pack in freezer bags [they are thicker + prevent less air penetration] and squeeze out all of the air.  You may want to pack 1 tray at a time, and keep the rest in the freezer, to prevent thawing. 
  12. Place the bags in your freezer + use however you like!

Goooodnight!

Ashley

Reader Comments (44)

I honestly freeze peaches all the time (or nectarines, white nectarines, etc) but I dont do anything special. No lemon juice, sugar, nothing.

I just slice them, put them in a baggie but I do try to make sure they're not touching each other b/c yes, they tend to stick together otherwise...but I dont have any issues with them turning brown or funky without the lemon juice.

Someone else just blogged about how to freeze peaches last week and another friend just blogged about how to peel peaches today. Guess peach tips are going around but I am rule breaker with the peaches I guess :)

These will be a perfect surprise when I forget that I did freeze some of summer's beauty for the cold months of winter! :)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ Jess Go Bananas

Great post! I honestly had no idea how to freeze fruit! :)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

I still have more peaches I need to freeze, and now I have to go back and do it on parchment paper because mine are all sticking together!

Great tutorial! I've never frozen peaches before but I do the same with berries... Freeze on a tray, THEN bag. Works like a charm!

I had no idea there was a method to freezing peaches..great info..thanks!! I am headed to the Farmer's Mkt today...excited to see what we find!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

awesome tips! I wonder if buying and freezing peaches is less expensive than buying a pre-frozen bag. I've been dropping frozen peaches in wine lately for a fun pop of flavor.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie @KatieDid

I actually learned how to freeze peaches last year with my 80 years old grandma. Just the two of us with a box full of Colorado peaches. It was a very fond memory.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle @ weightsandmeasures

I love buying peaches in bulk in the summer and freezing them for the winter! I don't do anything special either (lemon juice + sugar) and they freeze just perfectly.

Loved this. I actually always wondered about freezing fresh fruit, so this is awesome. Especially with peaches because I'm already sad that the season is coming to an end!

PS? That lattice crust on that peach pie is INCREDIBLE.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

Great tutorial! I used to freeze them this way too... until I found out that I can just freeze the peaches whole as is. Luckily, I have a large upright freezer. When I need them for a smoothie or for my kid's snack, I run the frozen peach under warm/hot water, the the peel slides right off immediately. I quarter the peach and it breaks away from the pit with no problems. Viola!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJill

I've never thought of freezing other fruit besides berries but it would definitely be nice to have a taste of summer in the middle of winter. I've been eyeing the dwindling supply of peaches and nectarines at the farmers market, so I will have to get some this week! Thanks Ashley!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandy @ Healthy in Candy Land

Absolutely love this post!! I went to the farmer's market yesterday morning and was a little tired of seeing mountains of peaches, I bought some anyway. But NOW I can slice them up and freeze them, then pull them out in a few months when I'm ready for more peachy bliss!

I saw this the other day and wonder how pickled peaches would be...
seriouseats.com/2011/09/how-to-make-pickled-nectarine-slices.html

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChaz

This is a great tutorial! I love the picture of that pie...mmmm :) And I definately want your kitchen sink.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Nice post! I would like to add if the fruit is not detaching from the pit there is another possible reason. Peaches like everything else on Earth come in varieties. Clingstone and freestones are the categories and the name says it all.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPenny Wolf

I just made a couple batches of jam and a big batch of dried peaches - so YUM! But, like Penny said, if your peaches stick to the pit it could also be that you have a cling peach. They're called "cling" for that very reason :-)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermarcella

That picture of the peach pie was kind of torturous. Just sayin' ;)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina @ Running to the kitchen

Hahahaha, sorrrrry :)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I didn't know that!! Very interesting!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks for the extra info. I had no idea! :)

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Welcome!!! Last year I tried to do this, but ended up eating them all before I could freeze. hehe

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Whoa...that is really interesting. Never would have guessed!! Much easier. hahaha

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Cait!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, how fun!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The deal I got on these peaches were definitely more economical then buying frozen. Typically the fruit stands at the markets have discounted bags/boxes on imperfect fruit. This was such a ridiculous deal!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Interesting about the peaches not browning. I've heard that sometimes they do/don't. Not sure what causes it. Maybe a higher sugar content in some varieties keeps the brown away?

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I dont have any issue with peaches (white or yellow), nectarines (white or yellow) browning on me.

Seriously girl i keep it REAL easy & basic.

Chop em, baggie em, freeze em.

No issues.

I buy a ton of anything that's on sale...half get eaten and then half usually get frozen in wedges for either eating (I like frozen fruit), smoothies, baking needs, etc. And they're not brown on me...

Peaches in the dead of winter? Yes please! Now where to find 8lbs of peaches...

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn@TheTieDyeFIles

I just bought about 10 lbs of peaches & made peach butter. Now I'm half wishing I had frozen them instead. The peach butter is seriously awesome though!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

Peach butterrrrr...that sounds insane!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaha, farmers market!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

can peaches be frozen whole without a problem?
I need them for a recipe to make peach mead, so I'm gonna mush them up anyway.

any comments appreciated at email: thepit@kwic.com
please put peaches in subjuct line. thanks everyone!

October 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarrett

think they can be frozen whole?

October 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarrett

You'd want to take the pit out first, I'm sure.

I think there is a comment in this thread about freezing whole peaches...someone definitely said it can be done! Good luck!

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I have frozen peaches for years. I cut them place them in small bags to use in smoothies. They go fresh from our trees to the freezer. No browning, taste delicious.

January 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

You have reminded me to use my frozen peaches!

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
I get my peaches off a truck that comes up to Wisconsin from Georgia every July. So tasty and juicy. Gonna freeze some today for winter use. I like not having to peal them first like my mom and gramma did. I pay $35.00 for 25 to 30 lb box, which I split w/ my DD and DIL. Got nice Michigan blueberries for $17. in a 5 lb box. How yummy! Thanks for the tute.

Ashley--> I cannot wait for Colorado peach season!!!
July 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergramma kathi
I got my peaches in Summerland B.C. 20lbs @ 89 cents per pound
August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy raven
Ashley don't hold your breath on Colorado peaches this year. They had a freeze so doubt you will get any! Go for Georgia peaches. They are terrific. Very juicy abd sweet.
July 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen
Hi, can I use lime juice if I run out of lemon juice. I want to make sure if I don't add sugar that is ok and they won't brown
September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternina
Hi, can I use lime juice if I run out of lemon juice. I want to make sure if I don't add sugar that is ok and they won't brown. Thanks a bunch...
September 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternina
You can definitely use lime juice, but I'm not sure what happens if you don't use sugar. They may be fine? I would just google other ways to freeze peaches and see what you find! :)
September 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley

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