farm-fresh peaches, frozen to perfection

farm-fresh peaches, frozen to perfection

peaches to freeze

My semi-failed batch of peaches went wrong for a couple of reasons, besides skipping the sugar entirely. How to freeze peaches:

what I did wrong when freezing peaches:

I let the peach fruit get overripe before putting it into suspended animation. If you’re freezing fresh (uncooked) fruit, you want it to be ripe but still firm—not already so soft as to be on a downhill slide.  Fruit that drips down your chin when you bite into may be a sensuous summer pleasure, but it’s too far gone for putting up. More treacherous, though…

I didn’t reckon with the air pockets inherent in stuffing any irregular-shaped pieces of something solid into freezer bags, boxes or jars.  Air pockets invite freezer burn, which means deterioration of peaches.

peaches to freeze 2freezing peaches ingredientsas discussed) the less plastic in contact with our food, the better. If you want to use bags, select freezer strength, and stand them up while freezing so that any air migrates to the top, where you can force it out after the food freezes at least halfway, before resealing the bag.

Still prefer to pack fruit “dry”? Get out the sugar.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends 2/3 cup granulated sugar per quart (or 1-1/3 pounds) of cut fruit that was first tossed in ¼ tsp. (750 mg.) of ascorbic acid and 3 Tbsp. of water. Let the sugared fruit sit 15 minutes before packing and freezing, taking care to eliminate air spaces as above.

When it’s time to defrost, do so in the refrigerator or under cold water, then use the fruit at once. If your recipe doesn’t require any liquid, pour it off, and improvise: Use it as both the liquid and sweetener in a bread or other baked good you are making. Nothing goes to waste!

And one more thing: To peel, or not to peel? If you want to, the touted “trick” is to score the skins lightly with an “X,” then drop the fruits into a pot of boiling water for about half a minute, then into a bowl of ice water to make the skins easy to rub off. It’s the same tactic used for skinning tomatoes when canning whole tomatoes.

With peaches, though, I think it yields a raggedy piece of fruit, so I peel them with a vegetable peeler—or leave the skins on, another reason for the ripe-but-firm fruit rule. Imagine peeling overripe peaches! And what’s a peach with a hint of fuzz, anyhow?

this peach clafoutis won’t last

peach clafoutis 3Peach Clafoutis (the easiest of fruit desserts, though it puffs up and looks gorgeous as if you’re a master baker). Confession: I borrowed the batter from my friend Martha.

peaches: the botanical viewpoint

ALTHOUGH I DIDN’T KNOW how to freeze peaches well at first, I did have some peach savvy—mostly of the scientific or botanical variety. Did you know peaches are related to roses, for instance (that and other stone-fruit trivia is here)?

peaches for freezing


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