This Is The Very Best Way To Freeze Peaches

Three simple steps for enjoying this summer star all year long.

Closeup image of wooden crates filled with ripe peaches
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Southerners know our peaches, simple as that. Summertime isn't right until we get to take a big, juicy, dribbly bite of a freshly picked peach. The heavenly fruit perhaps feels a little more precious to us because it's a seasonal delicacy and something we look forward to all year.

It's just not right to indulge in imported peaches when we have the world's finest right here, if only we can wait patiently (never been good at that part, though). It's like trading in your Duke's mayonnaise for an off-brand. Or deciding one day to switch to unsweet tea. Not going to happen.

When peaches finally grace the farmers' markets and roadside stands down here, we get while the gettin' is good. With these, there are endless delectable opportunities.

Bake a warm Grilled Peach Cobbler and top with some cold Fresh Peach Ice Cream. Stir them in some Carolina Peach Sangria. Put up for winter with Peach Jam. Enjoy it now in a refreshing Fresh Peach Tea. Our mouths are already watering.

But, all good things must come to an end. Peach season is a brief, yet torrid affair that never fails to leave us wanting more. There's no shame in wanting to extend the blessed fruit's lifespan, and there are some great ways to do it. The freezer is heaven-sent and allows you to save your peaches for recipes year-round, so follow these easy instructions to get started.

How To Choose Peaches To Freeze

The best way to freeze peaches that will taste in the future is to choose fruit in peak season. Peaches should be ripe, fragrant, and, if possible, freestone.

The difference between a freestone and a clingstone peach is how the fruit attaches to the pit. As the naming suggests, clingstone peaches attach to the fruit's pit, which makes it more difficult to remove. Freestone peaches can more easily be sliced and frozen for later use.

How to Freeze Fresh Peaches

There are a few ways to freeze pitches (explained below), but this is the most tried-and-true method. You'll get the best results with these peach freezing steps.

Step 1. Peel and slice the peaches

For the most effective freeze, peeling and slicing your peaches is key.

Blanch the peaches in boiling water to easily remove the skin before slicing. Toss one pound of peeled, sliced peaches with one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to reduce natural browning.

Freezing more than a pound of peaches? Just stick to the one pound to one tablespoon ratio.

Peel and Slice Peaches for Freezing
Becky Luigart Stayner

Step 2. Freeze the slices

Place the peaches in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, about four hours or overnight.

If you were to instead toss all of the peaches in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, you'll have no choice but to thaw the entire bag at once since the peaches will stick together to form a big (still delicious) mass. Freezing individual slices allows you to pull as many as you need for a recipe with ease.

Baking Sheet Freezing Peaches
Becky Luigart Stayner

Step 3. Transfer the peaches to a zip-top plastic freezer bag

Transfer the frozen peach slices to a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing. This will keep those slices fresh deep into winter when you're craving a fresh peach pie or a warm and hearty peach cobbler.

Frozen Peaches in Freezer Bag
Becky Luigart Stayner

Other Way to Freeze Peaches

Flash Freeze Peaches

If you plan to use peaches within the next few months, you can choose to flash freeze them. They will not last as long as peaches packed in lemon juice or syrup, but this can be a great way to preserve peaches for a little longer than the typical season.

  1. Wash, peel, and remove pits from peaches.
  2. Slice peaches and line them on a baking sheet. Use parchment paper or foil on the baking sheet to make it easier to remove. (Also, leave enough room between peach slices so they don't fuse.)
  3. Place baking sheet in the freezer until peaches are firm—usually three hours.
  4. Remove and place peaches in an airtight container. Keep frozen for up to two months.

Freeze Peaches in Water or Syrup

  1. Wash peaches in cool water. Pat dry. Make a small slice in the peach's bottom to allow expansion.
  2. Blanch peaches by submerging the fruit first into boiling water, then into ice water.
  3. Use a knife to peel the peaches and remove the pits gently.
  4. Slice peaches as desired, then add your chosen preserves.
  5. Add peaches to sugar, water, or syrup, and keep frozen for up to 10 months.

Freezing Peaches FAQs

Can I freeze peaches without blanching them first?

Blanching is a quick way to help you peel the fuzzy peach skin away from the fruit. While blanching is not necessary for peeling peaches, it helps reduce waste you may create by peeling the soft fruit with a paring knife.

Blanching also maintains the peach's nice, plump shape and helps you create uniform slices. If you don't care about the look of your frozen peaches, it's totally fine to skip blanching and remove the skin by hand, or not at all.

Do I have to peel peaches to freeze them?

Peeling your peaches before freezing is helpful if you plan to use them in a recipe where you would prefer the skins be removed. But if you're unbothered by (or even like) the fuzzy peach skin, just halve or slice your washed and dried peaches, mix with lemon juice, and freeze on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet before transferring to a ziplock plastic freezer bag. Peaches with skin are a great option for smoothies.

Can I freeze whole peaches?

Skip the work of peeling and slicing altogether and freeze whole peaches with their skins left intact. Just wash and dry your produce before placing in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. It's that simple.

When you're ready to take a big bite of summer, run the frozen peaches under cool water and wipe the skin away with your hands (fuzz lovers can skip this step). Let it thaw in the fridge or on the countertop and voila: You've got yourself a sweet reminder of what's to come next peach season.

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