3 Ways to Freeze Peaches

Get our step-by-step tips for freezing fresh peaches so you can enjoy them year-round.

Peaches are among the fruits most amenable to preservation whether you're canning or dehydrating them. But to truly capture that summertime fresh flavor for year-round use, nothing beats freezing. And it could be easier.

Ripe Peaches Hang Ready to be Harvested

Growing peach trees require lots of sunshine. In fact, they thrive in an area where they can soak up the sunshine throughout the whole day. Freestanding trees need a sheltered site. Soon, ripe peaches will be ready for picking and enjoying.

Photo by: Anna Nahabed / Shutterstock.com

Anna Nahabed / Shutterstock.com

The Best Way to Freeze Peaches

There are three ways to freeze peaches – whole, skinned and cut (dry-packed), or skinned, cut and packed in sugar or syrup. Even though you can freeze peaches right off the vine, we find frozen peaches that have been skinned and sliced are the most versatile. It allows you to take a few out of the freezer at a time to spruce up that smoothie, garnish a cocktail or sweeten a cup of yogurt. The only downside to this convenience is that you may use them up before they can make it into that mid-winter peach pie.

Homemade Peach Pie

Homemade Peach Pie

Should You Peel Peaches Before Freezing?

Most fruits do not need to be peeled before freezing, however, peaches and nectarines are an exception because their skins get tough when frozen. You can peel them raw, but it is easier to blanch the peaches first so the skin falls right off. But, if you’re in a rush and just want to seal in that fresh summer flavor as soon as possible, you can place whole peaches right into a freezer bag. Then you can peel the skin off once they’ve thawed. Often you can place semi-thawed peaches under running water and the skin will slide off.

How To Freeze Whole Peaches

Wash the peaches. Lay them out on a towel and use another towel to pat them dry. Then let them air dry for a few hours. It is important for the peach skins to be dry to prevent freezer burn. Pack the peaches in a freezer bag then try to remove as much air as possible from the bag. Label each bag with the contents and date that you packaged them, then place them into the freezer.

In Knoxville, we like to visit the Fruit and Berry Patch to pick our fruits. This time it was peaches. Fitting, as I was preparing to move to Georgia!

Peach Picking

In Knoxville, we like to visit the Fruit and Berry Patch to pick our fruits. This time it was peaches. Fitting, as I was preparing to move to Georgia!

How to Freeze Cut Peaches With or Without Sweetener

1. What is the Best Type of Peach to Freeze?

When selecting peaches to freeze, make sure to use the freestone variety. The flesh of cling peaches, uh, clings to the pit, making it difficult to separate. The pit in a freestone rests loosely in the fruit and can be effortlessly extricated.

2. Blanch the Peaches

Now about that skin. While the skin may be left on when freezing, removing it will give you some flexibility when it comes time to use your frozen bounty. Thankfully, there’s no need to pull out the peeler. Blanching peaches is easy to do and kind of fun.

To blanch peaches, drop the fruit into a large pot of boiling water for about forty-five seconds and no longer. The idea is to loosen the skin without cooking the flesh. Remove the fruit from the boiling water and drop it immediately into a bowl of ice water. The skin will now slip easily free of the flesh.

3. Cut Peaches

Cut the skinned peaches in half. Discard the pit and slice them into bite-sized slices. About half a dozen peaches will yield a quart.

Chopped Peaches and Lemon Zest in a Pot

Add the Chopped Peaches and Lemon Zest to the Pot

Add the chopped peaches, lemon juice, lemon juice and sugar to a large stock pot.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

4. Prevent Them From Going Brown

Ascorbic acid will prevent the peach flesh from browning. You can use lemon juice, commercial ascorbic acid or even a little ground-up vitamin C supplement.

5. Sweeten (Optional)

At this point, you can move on to the next step if you don't want to sweeten your peaches any further (this is known as dry-pack). Dry is acceptable but added sweeteners will tend to retain more of the peaches' flavor, color and texture. In a large bowl, toss the slices with the juice of half a lemon and one-third cup of sugar (or more, if desired) per quart and allow to macerate for about half an hour. You can also make a light syrup using one part mild honey and three parts extremely hot water. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the peaches.

6. Quick Freeze Peach Slices

Spread the peach slices on a baking sheet or large plate lined with parchment paper, making sure they do not touch. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. If your freezer space is limited, use two plates and very gently stack one on top of the other. Pop them into the freezer for a few hours.

If you plan on using the entire quart at once, you can skip this step and just pack the peaches into freezer bags and place them in the freezer. But, be forewarned, the moisture from the peaches will cause them to clump together and it may be difficult to break them apart when it comes time to thaw.

7. Pack Peaches Into Freezer Bags

The flash-frozen peaches may be easily packed into quart-sized freezer bags without sticking together. Once full, squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label each bag with the contents and date packaged then place back into the freezer.

Well-packaged peaches will retain full flavor for about a year in the freezer but can be kept even longer. Of course, by this time next year, peaches will be back in season and we’ll be ready to freeze a new batch. Preserving the harvest has never been so tasty.

Frozen slices of peaches in the bag


Frozen slices of peaches in the bag

Photo by: Ahanov Michael

Ahanov Michael

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