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Quick Tip: How to freeze peaches


Peaches and other stone fruit are perfect and plentiful (and pretty cheap!) at the markets right now.  Taking an hour or so and freezing a bunch will be total treasure in your freezer come winter.  And...far extend your season for making David Lebovitz's ridiculously good peach ice cream (it contains sour cream, people!  Sour cream!!).

Here are a couple of quick, and a little easier, tips for puttin' up the peach.

Blanching (to remove the skin).

Nothing new or revolutionary, but the quickest way to remove the skin, and really idiot-proof.  You'll be thankful later on that the skins are gone, so you can just pop those frozen slices of sunshine virtually from the freezer to your blender for a smoothie or to a pie shell (give or take a little thawing.)

Method:

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Wash whole peaches.  Don't bother to dry.

2.  Cut a small "X" in the bottom of the peach with a sharp knife, just cutting through the skin.  This will give the skin a place to start to slip-off when blanched.

3.  Slowly lower peaches, several at a time depending on the size of your pot, into the boiling water.

4.  Remove peaches from the boiling water after one minute with a slotted spoon. Immediately transfer the peaches to either a large bowl of ice water, or a colander and run under very cold water.

5.  Starting where you made the "X" on the bottom, just literally slip the skin off the peach with your hands.  It will come off very very easily.

Freezing

To extend the life of your frozen peaches, and ward off freezer burn, you want as little air in the container with the frozen fruit (and vegetables too) as possible.  Sucking air out of a freezer bag with a straw, and then trying to zip-lock-it as quickly as possible was my method of choice for years.  But this method below, using water to displace the air, has worked much better, and much quicker, for me in recent seasons.

1.  Fill a large bowl with water, leaving some room at the top.

2.  Lower a freezer-safe bag, filled with whatever you are freezing, into the bowl, with the top of the bag still partially open, with room for air to escape.



 

3.  As you lower the bag further into the bowl, the water will surround the shape of the bag, and press out a good amount of air.  Continue to lower the bag, until the level of the water is as close to the top of the bag as you can go, without risking getting water in with the fruit.  Seal bag immediately and remove from bowl.

4.  Gently press on the fruit in the bag to redistribute and make it flatter for storage in the freezer.  Label and freeze.

Peaches will keep for about six months in the freezer.  Peach pie in February anyone?

To preserve the color a little better, you can add a little citric acid or Fruit Fresh, both available by canning supplies, to the raw fruit before bagging it.  Add 1/4 teaspoon to every quart of fruit.



6 Responses to “Quick Tip: How to freeze peaches”

  1. [...] six regular sized peaches, peeled, pit removed, and cut into halves. 1 cup blueberries, optional 1 single pie crust (see my Pie Crust [...]

  2. Meaghin says:

    Besides peach pie, what else do you have planned this winter for your frozen peaches?

    • Catie says:

      Hi Meaghin,
      I love to throw the frozen peaches in yogurt smoothies. Or warm some up with a little sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice to put over ice cream or oatmeal or pancakes. Or make a quick peach crisp (individual ones in ramekins are great for a dinner party. Freeze some raspberries now and add them too.) Or make a slightly savory sauce to put over duck or pork. Or make a small batch of jam, and just refrigerate it, to put on plain greek yogurt. Or add them to muffins.
      enjoy!
      Catie

  3. Meaghin says:

    Hi Catie,

    First of all, a big congratulations to you and your family on your new baby! :)

    When you get a moment, I wanted to follow up about the frozen peaches. I froze about 6 lbs in August and am finally ready to use them. I’m hesitant though, b/c I’m not sure how to incorporate them into a peach muffin recipe I’m eyeing that calls for fresh peaches.

    This recipe wants me to halve the (fresh) peaches and put them in a skillet w/butter and honey to create a quick syrup. My question is–will a frozen peach hold up to this? What other steps do I need to take to achieve the same result?

    I also am eyeing a pie recipe that asks me to macerate the already blanched peaches. Well my peaches are blanched, but of course frozen. Will this process still work?

    I really appreciate any input, when you get a chance, of course!
    Best,
    Meaghin

  4. pat says:

    Thank you just what I needed.

  5. [...] Spoon the peach slices into freezer bags.  Wipe the zip-lock tops before sealing.  Try to get as much air out as possible by zipping up nearly all the way, leaving just a small corner open.  Press down slowly to get all the air out.  Then finish zipping up all the way.  Gently press the bags down flat to redistribute the peaches and make the bags easier to store.  Catie from Pitchfork Diaries has a neat idea of dunking the bags in water to remove all the air from the bags.  Check out her idea here: http://www.pitchforkdiaries.com/2011/08/17/quick-tip-how-to-freeze-peaches/   [...]

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Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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