Utah is famous for peaches. Cool nights and warm days result in large, juicy fruit. Unless the nights never cool and we experience the hottest summer in recorded history. What happens to Utah peaches? There are plenty to enjoy, but they are smaller and intensely sweet.
Many Utahns bottle the abundant harvest, but if you don’t have time, room or the inclination to spend a couple of days with your kitchen upside down and sticky, try freezing. You can experience this luscious sweetness a few times during our (hopefully) mild winter. They keep their flavor and texture, and you control how sweet and how much is in a bag.
Easy Frozen Peaches
- Sugar (or fruit juice or artificial sweetener)
- Lemon Juice
- Freezer Bags
Determine how many bags you want to freeze. Quart size bags require 5-6 peaches. Choose ripe, unblemished fruit.
Determine how much sweet to add. The best way is taste a peach. Sugar helps the fruit’s shape and color stabilize. If you don’t use it, your peaches will be dry and mealy. You can use sugar substitute to taste or apple, peach or white grape juice. You will need about 1 cup of liquid per quart.
Light syrup uses 2 cups of sugar to 6 cups of water. For medium syrup, 3 cups of sugar, heavy requires 4 cups.
Heat water, gradually adding sugar. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Bring to gentle boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. Wash fruit while another large pot of water comes to boil. Gently drop fruit into boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and cool immediately under cold water or bowl filled with water and ice. This makes skin easy to remove.
Expose and remove peach pit. Remove any mushy parts and cut to desired size: Halved, sliced or chopped. Toss with ¼-½ cup lemon juice to stop fruit from browning. Add sugar solution and mix.
Label bags with contents and date before filling. Place bag in sturdy container (see list photos). Ladle peaches and liquid into bag, allowing room to seal. Remove as much air as possible. During freezing process, place bags in plastic container or on baking sheet until frozen (see photo). This controls leaks. Place in coldest part of freezer - low and in back. Remember: The flatter they are, the less room they’ll take later.
Great as is, in or over ice cream, in a crumble or cobbler, or a family favorite - with a scoop of cottage cheese. Enjoy your bounty!
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Source: Pick Your Own.org