It’s end of summer and time to pick peaches. We planted a peach tree a few years ago when we moved into our home, and it began bearing beautiful fruit by the third year. We enjoyed the harvest and were so very sad when the tree died last season. We hoped it would come back this spring, but it didn’t. We haven’t replaced it yet, but fortunately we made this video when the tree was still with us. We continue to freeze peaches we purchase from local farmers.
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How to Pick Peaches
You’ll see from the short video below that there’s no super scientific way to do this. The aroma of the peaches on the tree is the first sign. If bees and wasps are visiting the fruit, you’ll know it’s delicious and ready. Choose fruit that is soft to the touch and comes off easily from the branch when pulled gently. If you have to tug much, leave the fruit on the branch for a couple more days. Easy does it. Instead of dropping the peaches in a bin on the ground, try to gently place them in to avoid bruising.
How to Peel Peaches
If you’re trying to peel a bunch of peaches without blanching them first, you’re doing it the hard way. Blanching is a simple process. Boil a pot of water, places peaches in a wire or metal basket with handle (recommended products below), dip basket in boiling water for about 3 minutes, and remove. Test peaches to see if skin removes easily. If not, dunk for another minute or so. Just don’t boil too much or the peaches will become mushy. You still want a soft, yet firm, peach that will slice easily. The video below shows this process.
How to Freeze Peaches
Our favorite way to store fresh peaches is to freeze them naturally, without any added sugar. It’s a simple method that goes quickly. I add 6 tbsp. of Fruit Fresh to about 6 cups of sliced peaches. Toss to coat evenly. Scoop about 4 cups into quart-size plastic freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air, and allow about an inch of space at the top. Label each bag with the contents and year. I like to include the note that there are 4 cups in each bag. Smaller quantities are fabulous for fruit smoothies, so I store some 2-cup portions as well. Lay filled bags flat on a cookie sheet to freeze for 24 hours. Remove from cookie sheet and store in neat, stacked piles in your freezer. That’s it. Honestly, it’s the easiest, full-proof method.
Showing You How to Pick, Peel and Freeze Peaches
You don’t need to guess at any of the steps explained above. We show you exactly how it’s done.
Products We Use to Peel and Freeze Peaches
In the video, you’ll see that we use an outdoor gas cooker to blanch the peaches. You can also use your kitchen stove. Ours is a glasstop, so we prefer to cook outside with the burner. As a result, our kitchen doesn’t get hot. Plus, the gas burner heats up super fast and is easy to control the temperature. So the gas cooker is the first product we recommend. Take a look at our list, and see if there’s anything else you might need to successfully peel and freeze your peaches.
Outdoor Gas Cooker
Here is a link to the Outdoor Gas Cooker. We use it for a variety of recipes but especially for blanching and canning. We like the output of this burner. It heats quickly and evenly. The size is perfect for easy storage in our garage. It’s been a very smart purchase for us.
Fry Pot with Basket
If you watched the video, you’ll see we use a sturdy basket. It’s an add-on accessory we purchased for the gas cooker. Peaches and other produce can be heavy, so I want a sturdy basket, especially when I’m dealing with boiling water. This is it. We’ve used ours for several years with no problems. Fry Pot with Basket
Hot Grill Mitts
I recommend these for safety reasons, of course. If you don’t already have a good pair that can take a lot of heat, invest in these. They’re perfect at the grill or when lifting the wire basket I use to process the peaches. Click here to find them: Hot Grill Mitts
This is the best product I’ve found for preserving the color of canned or frozen fruits. I am not a professional canner by any means. But I can say that my frozen peaches retain their fresh, beautiful color for as long as I store them, which is about a year. But I’ve inherited some from a family member who had them in the freezer for longer. The color was just as amazing and perfect as the day the peaches were prepped. Ball Fruit Fresh. I used 1 1/2 bottles for about 4 bushels.
Any questions about how we pick, peel, and freeze peaches? Feel free to post in the comments, and we’d be glad to answer anything we can.
Want a scrumptious peach pie recipe now that you’ve preserved your peaches? Click here to find our favorite. It has a secret ingredient.
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