Peaches are kind of a “June-thing” here in Texas. The super hot summers kill the fruit pretty quickly. Around the first week in June, our family packed up the car and headed out to Fredricksberg and grabbed up several boxes of white flesh peaches. We filled our fridge with peaches…and surprisingly, we ate all those peaches too! I think I only had to throw out one or two.
Peaches are “on sale” right now at the grocery store. The are grown local, but you can tell, just by feeling them, that the summer was hot. They are rock hard. But, I’m missing the taste of fresh peaches, and we have 9 months until the fresh new crop is ready. I know too, that as September drives on and winter gets closer, fruit prices are going to go up!
Last time we went to the store, I decided to buy about 30 peaches, even though they weren’t the best. I paid $1.19/pound. (Can you see that I’m desperately holding onto the summer fruit!?!?) When I bought them, they were all rock hard. I let them sit out on the counter for a few days and thankfully they softened up some.
I really wanted to try canning them, but for some reason, canning fruit and vegetables is completely terrifying to me. I know it’s not that scary, but when I get to the part about “put the jar in the water bath for 20 minutes….” I just throw in the towel.
So, canning these peaches was out, and I decided to try freezing the peaches! This was so easy and I was able to make 8 quart-sized bags of peaches in about an hour. (and I should mention that during that hour, I was interrupted about 20 times and had to clean up 3 accidents…)
Step One: Select a child to peel the stickers off of all the fruit. Preferably a younger one who thinks the fruit stickers are still cool. If you don’t have a young child, have an older one do the job and “pay them” with extra Wii-time If you don’t have a child in the house to do the job….well then, you know what you have to do.
Step Two: Wash fruit off and slice an “X” in the bottom of the fruit. This will help peel the peel off of the fruit. Which leads us to…..Step three.
Step Three: Blanch the peaches. Or if your like me, and have absolutely no idea how to blanch something, here’s what you do: Have a pot of boiling water and a pot of ice cold water right next to it. Put 4-5 peaches in the boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and immediately put them in the ice water.
Step Four: After the peaches have been sitting in the ice water for 1-3 minutes (or longer, if your me and have to go rescue a child from the roof of his playhouse…) gently pull away the peel of the peach. I found out the more ripe peaches, the better the peels separate.
Step Five: Stand back and admire your hard work of peeling the peaches without totally destroying the fruit. “Ah, my Mom would be so proud….”
Step Six: Cut up your beautiful peaches and shove them into Ziplock freezer bags. I have been reading about how fruit can get freezer burn easily, so to avoid this, I used white grape juice as the liquid in the bag. You can make a syrup out of sugar and water, but that kind of defeats the purpose of fruit, right?…anyways, Pour white grape juice in the bag until it seemed full enough to cover the peaches, and then I closed it and labeled the bag.
Simple, right! Totally…..Maybe some day I’ll buck up and try canning, but until then, I’m totally diggin’ the freezer stuff!