I absolutely love when fresh peach season arrives. Peaches make an appearance in my morning smoothies so here is the easiest and most simple technique I've found to preserve these sweet summer fruits.
Start with clean, ripe peaches. I find the less the peaches are handled, the nicer they look so I don't peel them, but you certainly can if you like (my favorite technique for peeling peaches can be found here).
You'll need some freshly squeezed lemon juice to make an acidulated water dip that will help preserve the peaches color.
The acidulated water is made of 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice and 4 parts water.
Simply cut the peaches into wedges and dunk the in the acidulated water.
Then place the peach slices on a silpat lined sheet pan and pop them in the freezer for several hours until firm.
After the peaches have frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container for long term storage.
If you plan to use the peaches within a month or so, you can use a standard zipper storage bag. For longer storage, use a vacuum sealer (here's the one I have).
An even quicker peach preparation to use in smoothies is to place the slices (not frozen) in a heavy duty blender and give them a blitz. Then portion individual amounts into small freezer bags. As you can see, the color has darkened a bit, but that's fine with me since the puree is going into this smoothie recipe.
Note: Freshly squeezed lemon juice can be added to help preserve the color, but that would change the overall flavor of the peaches so I opted to not do that.
makes 8 servings
4 ripe peaches, washed and dried
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups cold water
Peel peaches if desired.
Cut peaches in half and remove pit; cut peach halves into 8 wedges.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and water; dip peach slices into water and place in a single layer on a silpat lined half sheet pan.
Freeze for several hours or overnight; transfer to freezer-safe container for long-term storage.