Freezing Peaches (How to)

Freezing Peaches (How to)Fresh peaches are one of my favorite fruits.  I love to eat them plain, sliced in cereal or yogurt, or on ice cream.  They’re just so sweet and delicious!  They also make wonderful pies, cobblers, crisps, etc.  The downside is that I can only get good ones for about one week each year, and how many peach dishes and desserts can you eat in a week?  I always give it a noble effort, but in the end I feel like I didn’t get nearly enough of my favorite peachy treats!

So here’s a great solution.  I buy as many peaches as I can when they’re soft, sweet, and ripe, then freeze them in individual packets.  That way, we can enjoy the wonderful fresh peach taste all year round!

It’s easy to do, and it’s also really convenient for later because they’re already peeled and sliced.

So let’s jump right in.

Choose fresh, tree-ripened peaches for best results. They should yield slightly to gentle pressure when squeezed.

Choose fresh, tree-ripened peaches for best results. They should yield slightly to gentle pressure when squeezed.

Work in batches. (I do 6 peaches at a time.) Gently rinse them in cool water.

Work in batches. (I do 6 peaches at a time.)
Gently rinse them in cool water.

Set things up by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Then fill a large mixing bowl with ice water, and set aside.

Set things up by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Then fill a large mixing bowl with ice water, and set aside.

Use a sharp knife to score an X through the peel on the bottom of each clean peach.

Use a sharp knife to score an X through the peel on the bottom of each clean peach.

Carefully submerge them in the large pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, depending upon how ripe they are. More ripe = less time. Don't crowd them. They need the boiling water to move freely around them.

Carefully submerge them in the large pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, depending upon how ripe they are.
More ripe = less time.
Don’t crowd them. They need the boiling water to move freely around them.

With a slotted spoon, quickly transfer them from the boiling water to the bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice bath until they're completely cooled.

With a slotted spoon, quickly transfer them from the boiling water to the bowl of ice water.
Let them sit in the ice bath until they’re completely cooled.

Now just lift a corner of the peel, and gently pull it off. It's super easy!

Now just lift a corner of the peel, and gently pull it off. It’s super easy!

At this point, the peaches will start to turn brown if left sitting. This is one reason why I do one batch at a time.

At this point, the peaches will start to turn brown if left sitting. This is one reason why I do one batch at a time.

Slice each peach in half.

Slice each peach in half.

Remove the pits.

Remove the pits.

I slice each half into 4 pieces because that's how big I want them. You could slice them thinner, if you want.

I slice each half into 4 pieces because that’s how big I want them. You could slice them thinner, if you want.

Now here's the trick.: Use a bowl that's large enough to accommodate all the peach slices for one batch. Cover the bottom of the bowl with a single layer of slices.

Now here’s the trick.: Use a bowl that’s large enough to accommodate all the peach slices for one batch.
Cover the bottom of the bowl with a single layer of slices.

Sprinkle them with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, depending upon how sweet the peaches are. Make sure that each piece of fruit is sprinkled evenly.

Sprinkle them with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, depending upon how sweet the peaches are.
Make sure that each piece of fruit is sprinkled evenly.

Top with another layer of sliced peaches, and ...

Top with another layer of sliced peaches, and …

... sprinkle with another 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.

… sprinkle with another 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.

Top with a third layer of peaches, and ...

Top with a third layer of peaches, and …

... that's right, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Continue layering until the entire batch has been done. (My bowl is the perfect size for doing three layers.)

… that’s right, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.
Continue layering until the entire batch has been done.
(My bowl is the perfect size for doing three layers.)

Now cover them, and let them rest for about 15 minutes or until they get juicy.

Now cover them, and let them rest for about 15 minutes or until they get juicy.

Transfer them to a freezer bag or container, and seal. Make sure to remove as much air as possible. Place them in the freezer, and for best results do the following: Lay bags flat, in a single layer, with space in between so that they will freeze quickly and completely. When frozen solid, the bags can be stacked. Use within 8-10 months.

Transfer them to a freezer bag or container, and seal. Make sure to remove as much air as possible.
Place them in the freezer, and for best results do the following:
Lay bags flat, in a single layer, with space in between so that they will freeze quickly and completely. When frozen solid, the bags can be stacked.
Use within 8-10 months.

When ready to use, thaw in the fridge or in a sink of cold water, and use as soon as they're thawed. If you let them sit around once thawed, they'll turn brown.

When ready to use, thaw in the fridge or in a sink of cold water, and use as soon as they’re thawed. If you let them sit around once thawed, they’ll turn brown.