Tag Archives: peaches

How to Freeze Peaches

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!


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Peaches ‘N Cream Smoothie

This quick smoothie is an easy and delicious way to get your fruit and use your peaches. It is one of my favorite smoothie combinations. I love how the peach makes it so smooth and creamy!

This one is so easy it’s almost seems silly to share the recipe. Put everything in a blender and blend! I like using the measuring cup/beaker that came with my immersion blender. It’s super easy to measure the ingredients and blend them up while only dirtying one dish.

If you don’t want to use milk, coconut juice also tastes good with the peaches. Try using frozen banana slices – it tastes like a milk shake!

Peaches ‘N Cream Smoothie

Print Recipe

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk or coconut juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped peaches (1 or 2, depending on size)
  • 1 banana, sliced

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Serves 1 or 2

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Peach Sour Cream Muffins

For our next Peach Party entry, I turn to my favorite muffin recipe. I love this recipe because it is reliable, easy, and delicious. The muffins store and freeze very well. The crumb is so tender you might not guess they contain whole wheat flour!  I don’t even have to make any adjustments for altitude.  I usually make these with blueberries, but obviously this time I used peaches.

This recipe comes from my favorite whole grain cookbook, King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking.

Peach Sour Cream Muffins

Print Recipe

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced peaches
  • Course sugar for sprinkling

Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream; mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again to be sure everything is well combined. Gently fold in the peaches. Refrigerate the batter at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the course sugar. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Makes 12 muffins


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Ginger Peach Jam

I have two fun announcements today!

First of all, I am now the proud owner of my very own web address.  I am officially “fromscratchblog.com”!  This shouldn’t affect you, my readers, at all, but if you notice a problem picking up my RSS feeds that could be why.

Secondly, this week we are having a Peach Party!  My mother-in-law has a peach tree in her yard and this year it has produced fruit in a big way.  We are the happy recipients of a LOT of peaches, so this week I will be celebrating all the different ways I use them up.  Hopefully you will find some inspiration too.

This summer I have begun dabbling in canning and preserving.  So far I have made strawberry jam, Chinese plum sauce, and now ginger peach jam.  I have to say it’s pretty fun preserving perfectly ripe foods to enjoy in the “off-season”!

This jam is delicious!  The ripe peach flavor is the star, with just a hint of ginger to spice it up.  I do wish I had diced the peaches into smaller chunks, but otherwise it is perfect.  Not only is the jam good as a spread, but I think it will make a wonderful topping for vanilla ice cream or waffles.  And I can’t wait to try stirring it into Greek yogurt!

Tonight I had a some leftover puff pastry scraps.  I used a little of this jam to make peach turnovers – quite tasty!

Here is the recipe. It’s from the book Put ’em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton. If you have never canned before, PLEASE find a reliable source detailing the steps for proper and safe canning before attempting this recipe.

Ginger Peach Jam

Print Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Pomona’s Universal Pectin (I found it at Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 4 pounds peaches
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (I used 1 T. for a subtle ginger flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon calcium water (included in the Pomona box)

Combine the sugar and pectin in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine the water and lemon juice in a large nonreactive pot.

Bring another large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl.  Using only a few peaches at a time, blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds.  Scoop the peaches out of the water and place them in the ice-water bath.  Repeat with the remaining peaches.

Drain the peaches from the ice water.  Peel, pit, and dice the peaches.  Add the diced peaches to the lemon water as you work.

Bring the peach mixture to a boil.  Add the ginger and simmer for 5 minutes.  Lightly mash about one-quarter of the mixture.  Slowly stir in the sugar-pectin mixture and return to a boil.  Add the calcium water, stirring well, and remove from the heat.

At this point, the jam can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks if you do not wish to can it.

To can, ladle the jam into clean, hot half-pint canning jars (I filled 6 but had enough jam to fill 8), leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.  Release trapped air.  Wipe the rims clean, then center the lids on the jars and screw on the jar bands.  Process for 10 minutes (you may need to adjust this time at higher altitudes – again, find a reliable source for detailed canning instructions).  Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours.  Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.


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