Freezing Peaches

by Kristen on September 5, 2013 · 21 comments

in Kitchen Happenings

After I posted about my $10 box of peaches and mentioned I was freezing some of them, many of you wrote to ask how I do that. I’ve been trying to keep up with responding to your emails, but then I thought it might just make more sense to post about it!

I don’t do anything earth-shattering…I just quarter and peel the peaches, and then lay them on a greased baking sheet. Then I put the sheet into the freezer and leave it there until the peaches are totally frozen.

how to freeze peaches

If the sheet is greased, the peaches should come off pretty easily.

If they don’t, my super-duper fancy method involves sort of gently dropping the pan right side up onto the floor to shake them loose (my concrete laundry room floor is so good for this! ;) ).

Or if you are more patient than I am, you can just wait a few minutes for the peaches to thaw a bit.

I put the frozen peaches into bags and put them back into the freezer.

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(I usually freeze things like this in reused bags…this one is a heavy-duty plastic bag that used to hold rolls from a warehouse club. They were left over from a church event, and I brought them home so as not to waste the rolls, and then I saved the bag.)

Frozen peaches, like most frozen fruit, aren’t very good to eat raw once they’re totally thawed (Hello, Mushville.) But they’re perfect for throwing into smoothies.

The main reason I freeze them, though, is so that I can stir them into bowls of oatmeal, with a little cream and brown sugar. The hot oatmeal thaws them just enough to leave them with a pleasant texture, and it’s a little taste of summer heaven at a time of year when juicy peaches are a distant memory.

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P.S. I also think that frozen peaches would work pretty well in a peach pie or peach cobbler, but I’m not basing that on experience. I’m usually too busy eating mine in oatmeal to stop and bake a cobbler.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jo@simplybeingmum September 5, 2013 at 7:18 am

Yep I concur that baking with them should work. I’ve never done it with peaches, just apples, but can’t see what difference it would make. In fact I’m going to add peach to tomorrows shop and try it!

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2 moneystepper September 5, 2013 at 8:15 am

Nice tip Kirsten.

I’m always looking for ways to minimize food waste and so this is a great tip. I’ve never really thought about freezing fruit before (I usually just have a partially moldy fruit feast)!!

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3 WilliamB September 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

The issue with using frozen fruit in baked goods is liquid – frozen fruit exudes a great deal of liquid, much more than fresh fruit. This can be quite an issue for pie; you need to figure out some way to get rid of the excess. One way is to let it defrost, toss with sugar and let sit, then drain the liquid. Another is to use a lot of thickener, such as pectin, cornstarch, gelatin, flour, or tapioca. All these methods have downsides: the starches – cornstarch, flour, and tapioca – will mute the taste of the fruit and possibly make the filling gummy; gelatin can make it too stiff; pectin to jelly-like. You can also try a mix of two thickeners. None of these problems are killers but the baker needs to be aware of them and decide which solution works best for him.

The same issues apply with cobbler, brown betty, etc., but are less critical, as these don’t have a bottom crust and tend to be soupier than pie anyway.

Me, if I wanted to make pie, I might experiment with dehydrating the fruit. But I own a dehydrator which makes that process a whole lot easier.

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4 Lindsey September 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Before I dehydrate some of my peaches, I soak them in amaretto for an hour and then dry them. Grownups dried fruit we call it around here. If I make a pie, I throw in a few of the amaretto soaked dried fruit–they soak up excess juice that frozen peaches make and add a subtle flavor.

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5 Helen - myliladventures September 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

Mmmm…fresh peach sauce!

Did you blanch your peaches to remove skin first?

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6 Rebecca September 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Dont bother blanching, after they r frozen and defrosted the skins slip right off i do whole fruit and slices this way

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7 Rebecca September 5, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thank you!

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8 Angie September 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

They are fantastic in pie or cobbler. I buy a box of bruised peaches, slip the skin and freeze in quart size bags. Perfect for pulling out and making a cobbler or pie! As I heat them up to make the filling (no sugar added), I just separate some of the juice. I also add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Works great! I usually make a crisp or cobbler. Thanks for the tip on freezing them separate!!

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9 Hope :) September 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

I confess that when I read the title of your post I thought “Oh, dear. She’s going to introduce me to a more complicated way of freezing peaches than the way I’ve been using all these years!” Thank heaven we are in alignment and I can continue using the baking-sheet (or, sometimes, the just-lay-the-Ziploc-bag-flat-and-hope-for-the-best) method with clear conscience!

Along with using them in smoothies (or pies), I also like to use mine for canning — frozen peaches work great in peach-raspberry jam!

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10 Kristen September 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

Oh, that’s funny. I’m glad I didn’t complicate your life. ;)

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11 Tracy September 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

I am so lazy that I don’t even peel them before freezing. They go into smoothies anyway and the extra fiber won’t hurt. I put mine in ziplock bags and lay flat in the freezer. All you have to do so break a chunk off when needed for that smoothie. I love peaches!

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12 Sloan September 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

Thanks for the reminder! My grandparents sent me home with a ton of pears that I need to freeze. I wonder if pear pie would be any good. Similar to apple with cinnamon?

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13 Jill September 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I have a friend who get a ton of pears from here mother. She makes pear sauce. She makes it just like applesauce. It taste great.

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14 WilliamB September 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Pear pie is excellent. Usually it’s made with less aggressive seasoning than apple pie is made with -fewer spices and less of each one.

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15 Jen September 6, 2013 at 1:35 am

Pear butter is excellent, and if you make it in the crockpot you don’t have to worry about it sticking. We lke it mixed in with yogurt and granola but it would also be good in oatmeal, I’m sure.

I don’t bother to thaw my peaches to make crisp. Turn the heat up 25 degrees and bake about 15 minutes longer and it takes care of the Extra liquid. Not sure I would try that with pie.

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16 Julia September 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Pear butter (like apple butter) would be yummy and since it cooks for a long time (I use a crockpot) any excess liquid from freezing would be boiled off. Of course you could make it with fresh unfrozen pears too. Freezing them lets you make it in your time table.

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17 Diane C September 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Uh, grease the pan? Too lazy for that! I use waxed paper or the inner wrappers from cereal or crackers. I sometimes stretch one over the top to protect the fruit but that step is entirely optional, as long as you don’t forget to slip the flash-frozen fruit into a secure storage container as soon as the fruit is frozen. As to peeling peaches (or any stone fruit), I’m on Tracy’s team.

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18 Elizabeth September 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I use a silicone baking sheet to freeze on. Everything pops off really easily and no need to grease it beforehand.

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19 Economies of Kale September 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm

They taste great frozen too – like a healthy iceblock :)

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20 AFS September 6, 2013 at 1:27 am

The oatmeal idea sounds SO good. I’ll have to give it a try.
Do you do anything to keep them from turning brown?

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21 Mrs. Waste Not September 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

I use mine in a crisp. I toss them with a bit of flour so they are juicy but not terribly so.

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