Did you think the Peach Party was over? Not yet! My mother-in-law gave us way more peaches than we could actually cook or eat in a short amount of time. Something had to be done to preserve them for future enjoyment. I wanted to try my hand at canning the peaches, but the pot I have been using for canning is too small for the quart-size jars the recipe called for. And I am not confident enough in my canning skills to play fast and loose with the jar size. The next best option seemed to be freezing.
With seven pounds of peaches to freeze, I began my research. What’s the best way to freeze peaches? I learned that freezing them sliced in a simple syrup helps enhance the flavor, retain the color, and prevent freezer burn. Including some form of vitamin C is also helpful in retaining color, whether it’s from lemon juice, crushed vitamin C tablets, or some other form of ascorbic acid.
First, make the simple syrup:
- Combine 6 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
Note: I used this amount of syrup for seven pounds of peaches. Make more or less if needed.
While the syrup cools, prepare the peaches:
- Wash the peaches.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- In a large bowl, combine 6 crushed vitamin C tablets (500 g each), 3 quarts cold water, and 4 cups of ice. Stir to dissolve the vitamin C.
- Using 2 to 3 peaches at a time, place them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Fish them out and drop into the ice water.
- Repeat with remaining peaches.
- When all the peaches have been parboiled, peel and pit them.
- Slice each peach half into slices and drop the slices back into the vitamin C bath.
When you are ready to pack the peaches, gently drain the peach slices in a colander. I used quart-size freezer bags, but you could also use rigid plastic containers. Put some peach slices in the bags or containers, leaving a bit of head space. Pour in the simple syrup, just to cover. Seal up the bags, squeezing out excess air.
If using freezer bags, spread them out flat on a baking sheet or other surface in the freezer. After they are frozen solid they can be stacked for more efficient storage. Use the peaches within a year (so you can do it all over again next year!).
I have not thawed any of my peaches yet. When I do, I will give a full report!