Q. I couldn’t resist buying a bushel of peaches when we visited a farm today. Fresh, local peaches are so much better than those hard ones that get flown in from who knows where. The bushel didn’t look very big in the farm store, nestled up against all the other produce for sale. When I got it home, I realized just how many peaches come in a bushel! I plan on making a few pies and even a peach cobbler, but I know I will have to store some excess peaches for later. I have no idea how to store peaches for the long term! Can you freeze fresh peaches?
A. Those peaches sound delicious! Yes, you can freeze fresh peaches. There are many ways to freeze peaches, depending on how you wish to use them. If you don’t mind freezing your peaches with the skin on, there is very little prep to do before freezing them.
How to freeze fresh peaches?
Choose fresh, blemish-free peaches and wash them. Dry the peaches carefully, then cut into slices, removing the pit. Toss in a little bit of fresh lemon juice to maintain the colour. Place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet until hard, to prevent clumping. Then place in freezer bags and remove excess air. Seal the bags, then label and date them.
To freeze peaches without the skin, you will need to blanch them first. Cut an X in the bottom of each peach. In the meantime, place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water, with extra ice on hand. Place each peach in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Plunge each peach in the ice water to stop the cooking process, changing the water as necessary. Remove from the ice water and lay on a clean dishcloth.
When cool enough to handle, peel the skins from the peaches. Then, cut each peach in half to remove the pit. Peaches can be frozen in halves or can be sliced. For best results, freeze peeled peaches in a bit of water, sugar, or simple syrup. They can also be frozen as is. Place in freezer bags, remove the excess air, and then seal the bag. Label and date. Frozen peaches can be used directly from frozen, or thawed in the refrigerator before being used in recipes.