Preserving summer: How to freeze fresh peaches

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There’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy, sweet peach during the summer months. The season for fresh peaches is all too short, leaving us craving them all year long. Luckily, if you know how to freeze peaches, you can preserve their sweetness for months to come. 

Whole fresh peaches.
Photo credit: One Hot Oven.

Skip the flavorless off-season peaches and freeze sweet peaches when they are at their best for their sweet juiciness and vibrant summer flavor.

Freezing whole, half or sliced peaches is an easy process, and you will find they retain their flavor and color well. Just a few simple steps and a couple of tricks are all you need. And while you are freezing your summer bounty, don’t forget about freezing corn.

“I always have frozen peaches in the freezer. Fresh peaches out of season generally have no flavor to them, and I love to bake with peaches to make everything from a traditional peach kuchen to peach scones and so much more. I blanch and peel them, then slice them before I freeze them so they’re ready for me to use no matter what I choose to make.”

— Michelle Price, Honest and Truly

What are the best peaches for freezing?

Start with peaches that are ripe and fragrant.

  • Peaches from orchards, fruit stands and farmer’s markets are always the best because they are picked ripe. Grocery store peaches are picked before they are ripe and many times lack flavor.
  • Freestone peaches are easy to pit and peel, which makes them the best alternative for freezing.
  • Clingstone peaches are smaller and very sweet but can sometimes be a challenge in getting the pits out.
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How to remove the pits from peaches?

There are two types of peaches and each has several varieties. 

Freestone peaches make it easy to remove the pits because the flesh doesn’t cling to the pit.

  1. Slice the peach along the natural crease line from the stem all the way around.
  2. Twist the two halves of the peach apart and the pit should fall out.

Clingstone peaches are trickier because the flesh clings to the pit, but it can be done. The goal is to loosen the pit and here is how to do it.

  1. Don’t cut the peach where the natural crease is; instead, cut the peach to the side of the crease, starting at the stem and then ending on the other side of the stem.
  2. Cut all the way around the peach. Gently twist the peach and one side should loosen and come off, leaving the pit attached to the other half.
  3. Now cut that half again from top to bottom and pull the sections apart from the pit.
A cut peach.
Photo credit: One Hot Oven.

How to freeze peaches with the skin on

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze peaches with the skin on. 

  1. Wash your peaches whole in cool water and then place them on a towel to let them dry off. 
  2. You can freeze your peaches whole, slice peaches in half, in wedges or even dice the peaches. 
  3. Lay the whole, sliced or diced peaches on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure the peaches are in a single layer. 
  4. Place the tray in the freezer for four to eight hours or until the peaches are completely frozen. Whole peaches can take up to eight hours to freeze.
  5. Next, place the frozen peaches in a freezer container or a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before you seal it. 
  6. Then freeze until you are ready to use. 
Sliced peaches on a baking sheet.
Photo credit: One Hot Oven.

How to freeze peaches with the skin off

The easiest way to remove the skin from peaches is to blanch whole peaches, which is an easy cooking process.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer. 
  2. Next, place the peaches in the simmering water for 30 seconds. 
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and place them in a bowl of ice water. 
  4. Once the peaches have cooled enough to handle, the skins will be easy to peel off.
  5. You can freeze peaches whole, slice them in half,= or slice or dice skinned peaches. 
  6. Place the prepped peaches on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then freeze for four to eight hours or until fully frozen. Whole peaches can take up to eight hours to freeze.
  7. Place the frozen peaches in a freezer container or sealed bag with as much air removed as can be and freeze for up to 12 months.

“Since I usually make downscaled recipes for just one or two people, freezing fruit allows me to keep it on hand without spoiling. It’s also much easier to grab only the amount needed from the freezer.”

 — Lisa MarcAurele, Little Bit Recipes

How long can you freeze peaches? 

Make sure you have your peaches in an airtight container or freezer bag with all of the air pressed out. Frozen peaches will last for six to 12 months. 

Frozen sliced peaches.
Photo credit: One Hot Oven.

Should peaches be defrosted before use?

For most recipes, like these peach raspberry bars, you do not need to defrost first. But because peaches are a juicy fruit, a good rule of thumb is to add double the amount of thickener, such as flour, to a recipe. This is especially true when baking a peach pie.

If you are using peaches for drinks like smoothies, you can use them frozen or defrosted. Using the frozen peaches will make your smoothie nice and thick and it will stay cold longer. 

How to prevent peaches from browning 

Peaches are similar to avocados in that when they are exposed to air, they can brown quickly. Take a tablespoon of lemon juice and toss with the sliced peaches.

Will freezing change the texture of the fruit? 

Yes, you will find that fresh fruit has a different texture than when it is frozen and thawed. Since this is a stone fruit, it freezes very well, but you will most likely notice that thawed peaches are softer than fresh ones.

What is the best way to thaw frozen peaches?

The simplest method is to thaw frozen peaches in the refrigerator, which can take six to eight hours. For a quicker method, place the fruit in a sealed plastic bag and submerge it in a bowl of cold water.  This method could take 30 minutes to an hour for the fruit to thaw.

Delicious ways to use peaches 

Use those frozen peaches and try these peachy recipes to enjoy summer all year long. 

Adding frozen peaches to drinks can add flavor and can act as a flavorful ice cube.

Peach pandowdy is easier to make than a pie and is perfect for using frozen peaches, or make this fruity peaches and cream ice cream with frozen peaches any time of the year.

Learning to freeze peaches is a great way to preserve this delicious fruit and enjoy it all year ‘round. With the right preparation and storage techniques, frozen peaches can retain their flavor, texture and nutritional value for months. From smoothies and cobblers to jams and sauces, there are endless recipes to use frozen peaches in your cooking. Whether you have lots of fresh peaches or just want to stock up for the winter, freezing peaches is an easy way to enjoy this sweet summer fruit all year long.

Jere Cassidy is the writer and recipe developer behind the blog One Hot Oven. A passion for all things food-related led her to culinary school to expand on her baking skills and now to sharing easy recipes for all home cooks and bakers of all skill levels. When not in the kitchen, Jere’ likes to travel far and wide to find delicious food.

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