Monday, October 14, 2013

South Carolina Peaches for the Freezer

Source Photo
Summer is synonymous with peaches in South Carolina.  California is the only place in North America that grows more peaches than South Carolina- and they may be a square mile or two larger than our little diamond shaped state.

We bought, packed, preserved, froze, jellied, and ate over three bushels of peaches this year.  I wish we had done a couple more…
This blog entry is going to show you a method that is as simple as it gets for freezing peaches for smoothies.  (We love our peach smoothies too, and I’ll show you how we use the frozen peaches to make great peach treats on a future post very soon.)
First wash the peaches very well using a vegetable scrubber, then either dry or set the peaches on a rack to air dry completely.
When the peaches are dry, prepare a “dunking booth” to keep the peaches from browning.  I simply use a casserole dish.  The mixture for the dunking is found on the package of Fruit Fresh, and I add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice as well. 
Cut the peaches in half going through the stem portion on top.  Slightly twist to separate the halves, remove the pit, and scrap lightly with a spoon.
Dunk the peaches; let them sit for about a minute, then transfer to a freezer safe tray cut side up.
Place in freezer until completely frozen through. I usually let them set 24 hours, then put them in freezer bags.  Once you get them in the bag and you get ready to seal it shut, insert a drinking straw into the last little section open.  Suck the air out of the bag of frozen peaches and seal the bag.  It’s not completely vacuum sealed, but it does help keep freezer burn at bay.
When you need a couple peaches for a smoothie, just reach in and take a few out and reseal.