Q. I took my kids fruit picking this weekend, and they picked too many peaches to count. I’ve already made peach pie and even some peach jam, but I still have some left over. I would love to be able to keep some to enjoy their summer-fresh flavour all year long. Can you freeze peaches?
A. Absolutely! Like most fruit, peaches freeze quite well and can be enjoyed year long. By following some simple guidelines, you can successfully freeze peaches for future use in baked goods, smoothies, or other recipes. Depending on what you plan on doing with your frozen peaches, there are more than one way to freeze them.
How to freeze peaches?
The simplest way to freeze peaches is simply to cut the peaches into quarters and remove the pit. Place the peaches into freezer bags and remove the excess air. Seal the bag, then label and date the bags before placing them in the freezer. However, many people prefer to blanch peaches and remove the skin first, in order to preserve their colour and more easily incorporate them into recipes.
To blanch peaches, put a large pot of water to boil. Cut an X in the bottom of each peach. Drop the peaches into the boiling water for 45 seconds, and then remove with a slotted spoon. Place the peaches into a bowl of ice water, replacing the water as it gets warm. When the peaches have cooled, the skin will slip off the peaches. Cut the peaches into quarters or eighths, and remove the pit. Toss the peach slices in a mixture of water and lemon juice to prevent browning. If you plan on using the peaches in pies, you may consider allowing them to soak in a mixture of lemon juice, sugar and water before freezing.
Dry peach slices, and lay them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the peach slices are hard. This will help avoid clumping. Place the peach slices into freezer bags and remove excess air. Seal the bags, then label and date them before placing them in the freezer. To use frozen peaches, they may be added to recipes like smoothies directly from the freezer. To thaw peaches, remove from the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before adding to recipes. Previously frozen peaches will become mushier the longer they are left out, so it is recommended to eat them as soon as possible.