I love peaches. And I know I’m not alone in this because everywhere I turn, people are eating them. In smoothies. In lunchboxes. In ice cream. When you come right down to it, nothing beats a sweet, local peach. Except maybe a frozen local peach, especially in the dark of winter when the only thing local is snow.
Peaches are easy to freeze, so go ahead. Buy a few extra and freeze them. Hey, buy a case and enjoy peach pie, peach cobbler and peach smoothies all winter long.
Here are step-by-step instructions, illustrated with pictures from my own two-hour stint freezing a case of Ela peaches this weekend.
First, buy your peaches. I chose a box of “imperfect” Rozas and Newhavens from Ela Family Farms, an organic grower in Hotchkiss, Colorado. The peaches might be slightly misshapen or overripe, but they’re perfect for this purpose. And they’re cheaper than buying a case of “firsts.”
Wash peaches, scoring the bottom of each peach (not the stem end) with an X.
Slip them into boiling water for 10-20 seconds. When you can see the skin starting to flap, take them out.
Put them in an ice bath and let them cool.
Then slip off the skins.
Now it’s time to decide what you want to do with them. One option is to take eight to ten peaches at a time — enough for a pie or cobbler — and slice them, adding a few tablespoons of lemon juice and some sugar. Scoop them into a Ziploc bag, squeeze out the air, drop the bag into a second Ziploc, and scribble the date. Or you can place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Put it in the freezer until the fruit is frozen solid, then put it in the double Ziplocs. This way your fruit won’t clump together and you can pull out the exact amount you want.
Last step: put them in the freezer and wait for winter.