Freezing fresh peaches while they are in season allows you the opportunity to enjoy that fresh peach flavor all year long. Here’s two versions, one with and one without added sugar.
Which Peaches to Get
First, how do you know which peaches to choose?
When you purchase peaches from the grocery store, they are often picked before they are fully ripe to make them easier to ship. They are firmer so they bruise a little less easily but generally that sacrifices flavor. When you purchase your peaches (or other produce) from farmers markets or farm stands, they are usually picked when they have naturally ripened on the tree. Those tree-ripened peaches have a much better flavor. So buy from your local farmers whenever possible.
Clingstone vs Freestone
Clingstone peaches are usually the earlier peaches to come into season, around mid-June. They get their name because the fruit “clings” to the pit and are a little harder to slice because of it. Freestone peaches usually come into season a little later in the summer. They get their name from the fact that the fruit comes loose from the pit a little easier.
Freestones are easier to slice, but generally are not as sweet as Clingstones. So your choice really, is a matter of flavor over convenience. Which do you prefer?
To Freeze the Peaches
To do this you will need:
- a sharp knife, such as a paring knife
- a large pot of boiling water
- a large bowl of ice water
- a large slotted spoon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 cup water
- cookie/baking pan
- parchment or waxed paper
- freezer bags or containers
Step 1: Skin the Peaches
The first step you need to take when freezing peaches, is to remove the skins.
- First, cut an “X” through the skin on the bottom of the peach.
- Next, place the peach in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.
- Scoop the peach from the boiling water with the slotted spoon, and plunge it into the ice water to stop the cooking process.
- As soon as the peach is cooled, slide the skin off.
- Repeat this with all of the peaches. I usually do 4 at a time in the water, but not too many because you don’t want to crowd them.
Skinning peaches is done exactly the same way as tomatoes with one exception. With a tomato when you cut the “X” in the skin you also cut out the stem end. You don’t do that with peaches.
You can see a demonstration of skinning tomatoes in the video below.
Step 2: Slice the Peaches
- Mix 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of water in a bowl.
- Line your baking/cookie pan with waxed or parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each peach in half around the pit.
- Gently give the peach halves a twist to expose the pit.
- Using the knife, pry the pit out of the peach.
- Cut each peach half into slices.
- Place the slices in the lemon water. This prevents the slices from browning.
Step 3: Freeze the Peaches
- Place the slices in a single layer on your lined baking pan.
- Set the pan in the freezer, and leave until the slices are frozen.
- Once the slices are frozen, separate the peaches from the paper and place the peaches in your freezer-friendly container of choice. Return them to the freezer.
Now you can enjoy fresh peaches all year long!
The Sugar Version
Alternatively, you can also freeze the peaches with sugar. Doing this allows the peaches to create their own syrup for desserts.
Pack a layer of peach slices into a pint- or quart-size freezer container.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Repeat the layers until you fill the container, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. (Headspace is the distance from the top of the food to the top of the lip of the container.)
Cover the container and let it rest for about 15 minutes, giving the peaches time to create their syrup. Freeze.
These are my favorite containers. I can often find them locally at my farm supply store in the food preservation section. They come in many sizes, making them perfect for everything I need to freeze. They can however be seasonal, so I stock up when I see them. If you can’t find them locally, click on the image to go to them on Amazon.