Freezing Peaches or Nectarines
Posted on September 2nd, 2014
There is nothing better than the taste of a nice juicy peach or nectarine during the cold winter months. Taking advantage of fruit grown in season and the best pricing – plan ahead to freeze some of your favorites to pull out of the freezer later.
Offer your customers ideas on fruit preparation and preservation to encourage access to their favorite fruits all year long. We’ve summarized some tips for you to share.
Always begin with well-ripened fruit. Handle it carefully to avoid bruising and wash thoroughly.
- Freezing raw fruit – Slice the fruit, toss the pit, peeling is optional.
Our growing partner has a nice recipe for freezing peaches and nectarines. A simple recipe that includes no blanching or syrup preparation.
It is common for fruit to brown when thawing. To prevent browning add ascorbic acid to the fruit mixture or syrup. Syrups are made by dissolving sugar in lukewarm water and mixing until sugar is fully dissolved. You may adjust your sugar and water ratio. We prefer the medium syrup.
- Packing fruit chunks in syrup – Use a medium syrup (approximately 1 ¾ c of sugar to 4 cups of water for about 5 cups of syrup). For a better end results, add ascorbic acid – 1/2 teaspoon per quart of syrup.
Put peaches directly into cold syrup in container (plastic freezer bags work great) – Start by adding 1/2 cup syrup and then add the peaches. Press fruit down and add syrup to cover, leaving headspace. Place a small piece of water-resistant, crumpled paper, like parchment paper, on top to hold fruit down. Seal and freeze.
- Crushing or Puréeing fruit for smoothies, jellies and jams – Start with coarsely crushed, peeled and pitted peaches. For purée you may hand press fruit through a sieve or use a blender or food processor. To soften peaches for this process, if needed, heat in water for a few minutes. Add 1/8 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to each quart of fruit. Pack into containers. Leave headspace. Seal and freeze.
For additional tips on ‘freezing basics’ we found this article helpful..
Encourage your customers to keep their favorite fruits in fresh, frozen and canned form. Consider offering a canning seminar or providing quick tips on small cards or via the web by use of a QR code – your customers will appreciate the information. Feel free to link to this article in your blog or newsletter. Do you have any freezer tips to add?