Fresh peaches are among the most delectable of summer fruits, and they're one of the most popular fruits to preserve for the winter - any way we can prolong the luscious sweetness is worth it! Freezing peaches is the fastest and most simple method of preserving them. Of course, they're very good canned and made into jam... but there's not always time for that. Plus, freezing them requires less sugar (= more peach flavour), and they taste the closest to "fresh" when they're almost-but-not-quite fully thawed.
Most importantly, use ripe peaches. They have the most flavour / sweetness / juiciness, and they're far easier to work with.
1. Peel the peaches. If you're prepping a large quantity of peaches, slip them into simmering water for about 15 seconds, and then into a bowl of cold water for a minute... the skins should slip right off. Or, simply peel them by hand. It doesn't take long.
2. Slice the peaches from top to bottom. Do this over a bowl so that you catch all the juices.
3. Measure out 4 cups of peaches. For every batch of 4 cups, mix together the following ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1 - 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon citric acid OR 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4. Gently stir this mixture into the peaches, then fill your freezer containers with the peaches AND all the juice. Ideally, freeze the peaches in portions that you'll use at one time. Alternately, freeze them in single layers in freezer bags, so that some of the peaches can be removed at one time.
And that's it! There's very little prep time involved, and it's very rewarding to pull these out of the freezer in the winter months. Use the peaches in smoothies, pies, crisps, with custard, etc, etc.