If you are anything like me, you have been caught a little off guard by the fruit being ready so early this year. Strawberries were in early June, not early July…blueberries were ready in late June, not July…raspberries are also late June, not July…even some apples are ready now and not in the fall! Therefore, I have been getting my family out to the u-pick farms to stock up! Since I am not quite ready to can just yet, I have been stemming, cleaning and freezing.
It is also the beginning of the season for peaches. We don’t have any u-pick peach farms close, therefore, I go to my local fruit market. I started off with once case of peaches this year which is roughly 30 lbs. Again, I am not quite ready to can, so I will be freezing these as well. How do I do that, you ask? It is actually really simple and is not as much work as you might think!
I start by boiling a big pot of water…I will leave the water boiling the entire time I am working, adding some more water every once in a while. Once my water is boiling, I add 6-7 whole peaches.
Next, I remove the peaches from the boiling water with some big salad tongs (you know the ones, the cheap plastic ones!) I then put the peaches in another big pot, or just the sink, full of cold water and ice. You will need to replenish the ice after every batch of peaches to make sure that the water stays cold enough.
The next step is quite genious! You just rub the skins right off of the peach! But be careful! They become quite slippery without their skins!
Once you have your naked peach (shame on you!), cut the peach in half along the pit line. I hold the peach in my hand while I do this, so be careful not to cut yourself! Once you get a cut all the way around the peach, it will easily pull apart
Extract the pit, and cut the peach any way you like! I place my prepped peaches into ziploc bags all ready to freeze!
Now, if you are like me, you hate to not use all those pits, bad parts and skins for something!
Guess what? I use them too! I use all of this to make peach juice which I will also freeze. The peach juice will then be used to make peach jelly or syrup at a later time. Below is my recipe to make peach juice. Enjoy!
Place peels, pits and bad spots into a large pot. (Don’t worry, bad parts of the peach actually add a little sweetness to the juice!) Cover with water by about 3-4″. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook down for 30 minutes. Strain through a cheese cloth and you have peach juice! Place in jars or plastic containers and place in the freezer for storage.
Stay tuned for what I actually make with my peaches and juice!