Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freezing Peaches With or Without Sugar

this lens' photo

1. Wash the peaches in cold water. Be careful while handling them, so they do not bruise.

2. Set them aside to drain.

3. Peel each peach.

4. Pit and slice it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

5. As each peach is sliced immediately use one of the methods below to prevent browning. 


Preventing Browning, or Oxidation, of the Peaches

Peaches are a fruit that are prone to oxidation. Oxidation is the browning that occurs soon after a peach is sliced open. It occurs from exposure to oxygen in the air. In addition to being unsightly, oxidation causes a decline in the nutritional value of the peach. To prevent oxidation, a produce protector, such as Fruit Fresh can be used. A more natural solution can be prepared at home by mixing lemon juice in water. For each cup of water, 3/4 of a teaspoon of lemon juice is needed. Drop the peaches in the solution after slicing them, while preparing them for the freezer. Alternatively, lemon juice can be added to the syrup the peaches are frozen in at the ratio of 1/2 teaspoon to each quart of syrup.

Freezing Peaches With Sugar

Sliced Peaches with or without sugar Dry Sugar Packing – After treating the peaches with an antioxidant agent above, measure 1 quart of sliced peaches. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and shake to coat the peaches. Let the sugar-coated peaches stand for 10 minutes. Place them in a freezer safe container, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container. Label with the contents and date before freezing.

Syrup Packing Peaches – Peaches are typically frozen in a heavy syrup. Heavy syrup is prepared by mixing equal parts of sugar to water. Alternatively 1 cup of honey can be used to every 4 cups of water. Fill a freezer safe container with 1/2 cup of the syrup. Add 2 cups sliced peaches. Shake well to coat the peaches and freeze.

Heavy syrup is recommended to freeze peaches, however, you may find a lighter syrup preserves peaches adequately. Here are the ratios for mixing types of syrup.

Extra-Light – 1 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 1/2 cups of water
Light – 2 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 1/4 cups of water
Medium – 3 1/4 cups of sugar to 5 cups of water.

Freezing Peaches Without Sugar

The danger of freezing peaches without sugar is that they may discolor. However, to a few teaspoons of lemon juice added to a fruit puree or freezing with unsweetened fruit juices can be used as an adequate substitute for syrup packing.

Puree – Combine 2 cups of sliced fruit with 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and puree. Placing freezer wrap over the top of the puree will prevent discoloration.

Slices – Add enough unsweetened fruit juice to completely cover the peach slices. For every 2 cups of fruit add 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Shake to ensure the peaches are well coated with the fruit juice and lemon juice before freezing.

To freeze peaches, or any food product, the freezer should be set at 0 degrees F or colder. This prevents browning and helps the food retain it’s shape, color and flavor. Temperatures below zero also prevent ice crystals from forming in the food.

Peach Pie Filling for Freezing

6 pounds peaches
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

Wash the peaches, slice them and treat them for oxidation as described above. Mix the sugar, flour and spices in a separate bowl. Stir the peaches into the dry mixture and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Simmer the mixture over medium heat. When it begins to thicken, remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool completely. Ladle the peach pie filling into freezer safe containers with 1/2 inch of space at the top. Seal, label and freeze the pie filling.


“Ball Blue Book of Preserving.” Jarden Home Brands. 2005. Muncic, IN 47305.
Food Safety and Food Preservation. University of California Cooperative Extension. August, 1997.
Fresh Peaches Photo: adactio,
Peaches in Syrup Photo: Ken Hammond,

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