Peach picking…ahhhh…one of my FAVORITE things to pick. I went last week with my wonderful husband and my two beautiful girls. I love walking down the rows and rows of trees, and then plopping myself down on the grass with all the peaches that have fallen. I love peeling perfectly ripe peaches for my girls and handing it to them whole then seeing the juice drip down their faces as they enjoy thier peach. Then after we finish filling our boxes, we go home all sticky, but smelling divine. Great memories. If you haven’t done this before, I would totally recommend it!
The thing I love about peaches is that they are so fresh and juicy…can’t explain it…I just know I love them fresh, especially the white ones! So, I cannot really handle the whole idea of bringing them home and packing them in syrup or sugar. So I’m going to show you how to freeze them.
First of all, before you do anything, ONLY use the ripe ones. I cannot stress enough. This will take patience because they all won’t be ready at once. I froze all mine over a whole week because I would do as many a day as were ripe. They ripen from the top down, so feel the whole peach. It needs to be slightly soft ALL OVER. Check the top, the sides, AND the bottom. If any of the peach is still hard in ANY place, it’s simply not ready. Be patient, wait a day or two and check it again. Do not put your peaches in the fridge. They need to sit at room temperature to ripen.
First, line a cookie sheet with wax paper. (Or any large flat pan or board that will fit in your freezer. The first time I did this I put them all out on the pan perfectly and then went to put them in the freezer and realized I had to move them all to another pan because it didn’t fit! Precious time wasted!) 😉
After you have picked out only the ripe peaches, it will be a super easy, fun process. Take the ripe peach and stick it under the water and rub the fuzz off. Just run you thumb over all of it gently.
Then take your pointer finger, and stick it in the top where the stem is and gently break the skin and then peal it down. No boiling is needed, no paring knifes, no anything but you and the peach. If its fully ripe then it will peel so easy! It’s really one of the funnest things to do in my opinion!
It will come off in little sheets. If the peach is still hard, it will not come off, and you will get frustrated. Trust me when I tell you to wait for the ripe ones. They will even taste better, you’ll have fun, and everyone is happy! 🙂
Next, cut straight down the “butt” of the peach and all the way around. Can I call it that? Does it have another name? If it does, please, enlighten me. Again…gently, this is a delicate fruit when ripe, none of these steps should take that much pressure.
The peach will separate easily, if ripe. The white peaches I find to be even easier than the yellow. They just fell off the seed, I didn’t have to do anything but slice a line around it. The yellow ones you might have to gently put your fingers around where you cut and pull it apart carefully.
Pop the seed out with you finger.
Slice each half.
Line them singly on the wax paper. Do not lay them on top of each other, however, they can touch each other on the side. When the sheet is full stick them in the freezer as is.
Leave them in the freezer for a good 24 hours. They need to all be frozen completely, until they are not even sticky. If they feel frozen but are still sticky, they can still freeze together when you put them in the bag. When they are done freezing, they will come off the wax paper easily and may be stuck together on the sides if they were touching. This is not a problem, they break apart easily, and its actually faster than pulling them off the paper one at a time.
Pop ’em in a freezer bag and you have fresh frozen peaches for whenever you want and whatever you want! Smoothies or just a good snack! And fall is coming, so you’ll be busy making pies, tarts, and crumbles! We took some just in a container to the pool today, and by the time snack time came they were perfectly thawed and were as delicious as the day we picked them!
TIP: If you decide to sugar your peaches in water or syrup, they will last for 8-12 months. If you just freeze them alone like I showed you, they will be good for 6 months; however, because food does still break down slowly in the freezer, the best quality use will be in the first 1-3 months.