Take advantage of fresh peaches at harvest time by freezing them. Then you can have this sweet fruit year-round for pies, smoothies or snacking. However, peaches will turn dark within minutes of the flesh being exposed to air due to oxidation. Prevent discoloration with your peaches so they retain their distinct color even through a deep freeze. By coating the fresh peaches with ascorbic acid you will have bright, yellow-tinted peaches that look fresh from the vine.
Things You'll Need
Set aside five fresh whole peaches that are free of blemishes or soft spots. Wash the peaches gently under warm running water, rubbing the fuzzy skin to remove debris and dirt.
Boil 1 gallon of water in a large pot on high heat. Drop the peaches in the water. Cook the peaches for 30 seconds or until you notice the skin bubbling out.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Remove the peaches from the boiling pot with a pair of tongs. Immerse the cooked peaches into the ice bath to cool the peaches for handling.
Peel the skins from the cooled peaches with your hands; the skins should come off without much effort thanks to the boiling process.
Slice the peeled peaches in half and remove the pits from the center. Cut the peach halves into quarters or thin slices, if desired, or leave in halves. Add the fruit to a medium-sized bowl.
Sprinkle the peaches with 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid, coating each piece of fruit. Replace the ascorbic acid with three crushed vitamin C tablets that contain ascorbic acid, if desired.
Cover a baking sheet with a sheet of wax paper and place the fruit in a single layer on the paper. Freeze the fruit for 30 minutes.
Remove the fruit and pack it into a quart-size plastic freezer bag. Flatten the air out of the bag and seal securely. Place the bag of peaches in the freezer immediately.
You can replace the ascorbic acid with 1 tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice as the antioxidant, but the fruit will have a mild lemon flavor.
A quart-size hard plastic freezer container can be used in place of a freezer bag.
References and ResourcesPick Your Own: How to Make Homemade Frozen Peaches, Plums, Figs, Nectarines and Cherries
Seasonal Chef: How to Freeze Peaches
Eckert's: Tree-Ripened Peaches