Monday, August 11, 2008

How to Freeze Fresh Peaches

Last weekend in our jaunts around Pennsylvania Dutch country we headed over to Weaver's Orchards where we bought a half bushel of peaches for $16.99. We wanted to put up the peaches in the freezer so we could enjoy the juicy sweet taste of summer all winter long. We probably ate a dozen or so peaches in the next couple of days, and put aside enough to make a fresh peach pie, but what was left yielded eight quarts of peaches.

It is a pretty simple thing to put up fruit in the freezer. You save some money and have the taste of summer all year long. We used to can peaches, then we progressed to freezing them in syrup and finally over the year we perfected this really simple way to freeze peaches.

The most important thing to do is to start with a good peach. They should be freestone peaches and be ripe, but not soft. They should also have a skin that peels easily without having to blanch the fruit. The peaches we got from Weaver's were Red Haven peaches. This is the variety that we like to use for freezing and it always produces a great result.

The most labor intensive part of the process is the peeling and slicing. I make a slice around the seam of the peach and pull the skin off starting with the peach. If the peach is of proper ripeness the skin should pull off without having to cut off any of the flesh. After peeling, I cut slices off the stone. Next you need to treat the peaches with Ascorbic Acid so they don't go brown. I use Fruit Fresh, but I don't follow the proportions on the label as they use to much sugar in my opinion. Finally you need to pack you fruit in sugar.

Recipe for Freezing Fresh Peaches

8 quarts of skinned and sliced fresh ripe peaches
8 quart freezer bags
8 T Fruit Fresh
4 C sugar

Divide the peaches among the bags making sure to leave some head room. Mix 1 T of fruit fresh and 1/2 of sugar into each bag. Stir the fruit and sugar mixture in the bag. Allow to sit for 15 minute or so until some juice forms. Seal bags and place them in the freezer.

I love to eat these peaches all by them selves or over vanilla ice cream. You can also use a quart for the filling for a pie or a peach cobbler.


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