Freezing fruit is a fast and easy way to preserve food for later use, allowing you to take a bite of this summer’s peaches on a cold, wintery day. Lemon juice keeps fresh peaches from taking on a murky color during the preparation and freezing process. By storing the fruit at low temperatures, organisms that cause fruit to spoil are prevented from growing. Although the texture of frozen and thawed fruit may be slightly softer than fresh fruit, it should keep its bright, fresh flavor and most of its nutritional benefits.
Line up your clean, dry freezing containers. The containers should seal easily, resist moisture vapors and be able to withstand cold temperature. Examples include plastic freezer bags, glass freezing jars and plastic freezer containers.
Wash ripe, blemish-free peaches in cold water. Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil over high to medium-high heat. In the meantime, grab a large bowl or pot and fill it with a few handfuls of ice and cold water. Once the water is boiling, dip the peaches in the water, removing them with a slotted spoon after roughly 30 seconds. Place the peaches in the ice bath and let them rest for about five minutes, then rub the skin off.
Remove any brown or overly soft areas, then halve the fruit or cut it into quarters or slices. Remove and discard the peach pits. Mix a lemon juice and water mixture by combining roughly 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in each quart of cold water. Pour the mixture over your bowl of cut peaches and allow the fruit to soak for about two minutes; or pour approximately 1/4 cup of lemon juice on each bowlful of peaches, tossing the fruit until it is thoroughly coated.
Drain the peaches and prepare a light syrup to pack the peaches in for freezing. Although you can freeze peaches without it, fruit usually has a superior flavor and texture when it's packed in either sugar or syrup. To make a syrup, dissolve sugar in warm water using a ratio of 1 3/4 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of water. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the drained peaches with sugar and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes to draw the juices out and create a natural syrup.
Add the peaches to the freezing containers and pour enough syrup in to completely cover the peaches, while still allowing between 1/2 and 1 1/2 inches of space at the top of the container.
Seal each freezing container and remove as much air as possible from the container. Place in the freezer and use as needed. Frozen peaches can be stored for about eight to 12 months.
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Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.
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