If you are ever in a hurry, you can even freeze the whole peach, skin and all. Then, when you have more time just thaw out as needed. The skin peels right off and I find it even easier to slice as well. I started doing this when I had more peaches than I knew with one year and just zero time to process anything. Once cold weather came, I was free to can or whatever.
This year we made peach pie and and peach jam with them, both for the first time. Both turned out great, especially the peach jam. Those are ways to use a lot of frozen peaches at once.
For freezing we just slice, peel and freeze them in freezer bags. Then they are ready for peach jam, or peach pie, even if they turn color some not much.
My Flavor Grenades are a total dud this year, presumably because of excess rain and cloud cover. It is strange that the pluot-like Elephant Heart is over the top excellent this year and FG has almost no sugar or flavor. In the northeast, the more varieties you grow the more likely you are to have excellent fruit- different varieties perform differently season to season. In 50 years I may be able to supply an accurate evaluation of all the varieties I grow. Right now I don’t have a definitive evaluation of a single one.
It is frustrating growing fruit in such an inconsistent climate, but strangely rewarding once you are growing enough different stuff and have as many varieties as possible ripening for the full span of harvest season. Peaches I’m harvesting now are hitting 15 brix, which is about as high as they ever get for me. We had about 10 days of drought and now the last 5 days of continuous rain and gray skies hasn’t damaged their flavor yet. All season long the quality has gone up and down, but not a week goes by without having something that is truly excellent in my orchard.
The main problem is that I hate to give away what I consider to be mediocre fruit- call it growers pride or conceit. I waste too much of my fruit for this reason.
Honeycrisp apples on my 2 trees have the highest brix they’ve had in years also- they actually taste quite good. I always thought the difference was determined by having cool nights, but this season debunks that theory without providing another one.
Very much the same here as far as variation in quality. For me what was frustrating and confusing is when conditions were good, and the fruit is still mediocre. Agree having a large variety helps. I too will not give away mediocre fruit. This year has been really dry here, all stayed just south of me. All those storms in the Northeast often hit here, but they stayed south this year. So it’s been a great year. My brother lives in New Bern, so no complaining from me about where I live! The hurricane looks to again stay south of me when it makes it’s way this way. We expect a few drops of rain from it, maybe…
On cultivars I have to add Elephant Heart for sure. FG is good but not as complex a flavor as other pluots. Still I like it.
Overall growing stone fruit has been a good experience. The quality does vary, such is life. Every year seems a little better and I got lucky picking some winners from the start. Filling in what I need since then. I had some excellent fruit this year and what I gave away I was really happy about the feedback. Some people have been blown away by the fruit. This is new to me, and very rewarding feeling. I’m most happy about it as the wife has not been totally on board with it, yet she gave away so much, and with such a positive response she is seeing the value in it all, and a happy wife makes for a happy life!
We’ve been freezing a few peaches in freezer bags by peeling, slicing and laying them flat in freezer bags. The freezer bags don’t hold many peaches this way, so it takes a lot of bags, but it’s fast. Generally I try to put a little Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) in the bags to reduce oxidizing.
Of course some varieties of peaches brown easier than others. It’s best to use a low browning peach to start with. Admittedly, this is probably a bigger deal when you are canning, but it helps with freezing too.
The texture does break down in the freezer some. Of course late season peaches tend to hold texture better than early or mid season peaches. We use the frozen peaches in a blender to make ice cream, so texture doesn’t matter.
Thank you everyone who has given me info about your methods of processing peaches, freezing, canning, etc.
We have chosen to freeze by blanching peaches for easy peelling. We use diluted lemon juice to prevent browingh. We sliced and did quick freezing before putting those frozen pieces in bags.
We have a vacuum-pack machine so we vacuum-packed the frozen peaches. We have a lot more peaches to freeze. I have found vacuum-pack work great.
Hubby said canning is too much work so the method was not picked. We probably will use frozen peaches to make jam later.
Thank you again for your help.
They will taste fresh rather than canned. A canned peach loses it’s just off the tree flavor. You made the right choice!
Jarred peaches are a distinctive delicacy when done well with the right variety of firm-ripe peaches, but I only know this by tasting them at client’s homes. We just don’t have the time for it- although sometimes my wife does it just before the peaches start to rot to save them. By then the quality is not as good- mushy instead of firm.
I don’t blanch because I like to eat the whole fruit. Only with frozen plums do I exclude the skin, and for them, after freezing and thawing. Different folks have different attitudes about the skin, but they are probably the healthiest part of the fruit.
Of course, most of us on this forum get plenty of that goodness however we process the fruit.