Learn how to freeze fresh peaches to enjoy their summery, juicy goodness throughout the year. Buy peaches while they're in season—May to October (they peak June to August)—at farmers markets or on sale in the grocery store and freeze them to enjoy as a peach cobbler or other peach-filled treat any time. Freezing peaches takes only a few steps and means you'll have them on hand year-round.
It's quick and easy to prepare desserts and other peach recipes using frozen fresh peaches. We'll show you how to freeze peaches to toss them into recipes later. Frozen peaches are also great plain, so set aside a batch to munch on when you have a sweet's craving.
Need more convincing? Peaches are high in vitamins C, E, and K, plus provide fiber and potassium.
Make sure you get the ripest peaches by giving them the sniff test. Ripe peach should be intensely fragrant and yield to light pressure at the stem end. Avoid peaches with soft spots or mushy areas.
It's important to buy peaches ripe, because they won't continue to ripen after they're picked. The common brown bag technique will improve texture, but the flavor will remain unchanged.
Use a sharp knife to make a shallow X on the bottom of each peach. This step allows for expansion when the peaches get blanched in Step 2.
Blanching (plunging fruit or vegetables into boiling water then ice water to stop the cooking) firms the flesh, heightens flavor, and loosens the skin to ease peeling.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches from boiling water to the bowl of ice water.
When the peaches are cool enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin from each peach.
If desired, cut each peach half into slices.
There are three ways to freeze peaches:
Water Pack: Pack peaches into a pint- or quart-size freezer container or bag, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Pour water over the peaches, maintaining the specified headspace.
Sugar Pack: Pack a short layer of peaches into a pint- or quart-size freezer container. Sprinkle lightly with sugar; repeat layering, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until juicy before freezing.
Syrup Pack: Prepare desired syrup (see below). Pack peaches into a pint- or quart-size freezer container or bag, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch headspace for quarts. Pour syrup over the peaches, maintaining the specified headspace.
To prepare syrup: Place the recommended amounts of sugar and water (see below) in a large saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary.
Tip: Allow 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for each 2 cups peaches.
Very Light Syrup: Use 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4 cups syrup. Light Syrup: Use 1-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4-1/4 cups syrup. Medium Syrup: Use 2-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 4-2/3 cups syrup. Heavy Syrup: Use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield about 5-3/4 cups syrup.
When you need a taste of fresh summer peaches, snag your frozen peaches and mix up one of these fruity recipes. Feel free to go sweet or savory—your frozen peaches will be delicious every which way!