Freezing & Canning
Freezing peaches is one of the easiest ways to preserve the flavors of summer. The freezing method also locks in the fresh peach flavors, so they’re ready to quickly thaw and bless your taste buds throughout the year.
For best results, you’ll want to peel and slice your peaches prior to freezing. Eliminating any air from the bag will help keep freezer burn from forming. Slicing the peaches and tossing with lemon to prevent browning and a touch of sugar to bring out the juices will help aid in this process.
Start with tree ripe, conditioned peaches. These will feel a little heavier than a firm peach and will give lightly to touch.
Using the tip of a pairing knife, cut a small X through the skin of the bottom of the peach, taking care to not cut deeply into the flesh.
Place the peach in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 seconds.
Remove from boiling water and place directly into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Once cool, use a pairing knife to catch the corner of skin at the base of the X and peel towards the stem. The skin will come right off!
Once peeled, cut the peach in half, starting along the crease of the peach and running your knife all the way around. Twist the two halves to release one from the pit and then use the tip of a knife or fork to pry the pit out from the remaining side.
Slice each half into 4-8 wedges and place in a bowl. Toss the juice of 1 lemon for every 8-10 peaches and ½ teaspoon of sugar for each peach added. The lemon juice will help prevent browning and the sugar will release juices from the peaches, helping prevent air pockets when freezing.
After tossing with lemon and sugar, place in a gallon-sized zipper freezer bag. We suggest measuring your peaches and writing the measurement and date on the outside of the bag. You can safely add 6-8 cups of peaches to each bag.
Once peaches are added to the bag, press the bag to release all air and seal. Place the bag on a small baking sheet or cutting board (check to make sure it fits in your freezer) and flatten the bag of peaches before moving the board with peaches to a flat surface the freezer. Once peaches are frozen, remove the board and store peaches in freezer until needed. The flat bags will help you stack and store multiple bags, while taking up less room in a crowded freezer.
Just because fresh peaches are only in season a few months of the year does not mean that you can’t enjoy peaches all year long. Canning peaches is easy to do – simply place the peeled peaches in syrup. We’ve given you a few options for syrup, but which ever you choose, these will bring some bright summertime sunshine when you crack open a jar in the middle of the winter.
You can eat canned peaches right from the jar or utilize them in dessert and salad recipes. One of our favorite simple treats for canned peaches is to place the peach halves on a pan, sprinkle with brown sugar and top with a pat of butter before broiling them. Then reduce the syrup in a pan, stir in a little cinnamon and a few pats of butter and enjoy with pound cake and ice cream.
Makes 2 quarts
8-9 fresh peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
1 quart water
juice of one lemon
2 cups sugar
1 quart water
juice of one lemon
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 cups honey
Prepare your syrup by bringing ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Sterilize your jars and place peaches in the jars. Fill with hot syrup, leaving ½ of space at the top of the jar. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the top rim of the jar to remove an residue.
Process in water bath or pressure cooker according to jar manufacturer instructions.