I love, love, love picking fresh fruit and freezing or canning it so Dan and I can enjoy it all year long.
It comes in handy quite often when we have guests over. What should we have for dessert? How about anything made with fruit: apple pie, apple crisp, strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, the list goes on and on.
I have many uses for the frozen fruit in everyday life too.
- Fruity Baked Oatmeal
- Apple Strussel Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- Any type of fruit sauce for ice cream
The only problem with this grand plan is the picking. I am way over ambitious. I pick way, way, WAY too much. See the newspaper below? I had that area of my table covered completely in peaches, stacked 2 rows high. We picked one whole bushel, which is like a bazillion peaches. Seriously.
The perfect little beauties…
1) Put peaches in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Most sites will say 30 seconds, but I found that if the peaches are not fully ripe, they need to stay longer in the boiling water to make the skin come off.
2) Remove and put in ice water
3) Skin should fall eight off the peach. It might need a little coaxing from a paring knife if not fully ripe.
Excuse the messy counter, I’m cooking! This is how peaches look without the skins.
4) Cut into slices and freeze individually on a cookie sheet.
Some people put sugar or a sugary sauce on the peaches before freezing. I don’t usually do this because most of my future uses for the peaches don’t require additional sugar in the fruit. Also, if sugar is not necessary, why add it? It takes away the fresh flavor and adds calories. I say leave it out!
The other thing I did with the peaches is make freezer jam. The picture above of the whole, skinned peaches is actually the batch I put into the jam. See how they are a bit bruised and tattered? I mashed all of those into freezer jam.
I didn’t do anything special with my jam. I just bought the Ball brand instant pectin and followed the instructions on the bottle.
Freezer Jam Tip: “Mash your fruit in a blender or food processor then mix in pectin and sugar by hand. This speeds up the process tremendously!
The finished freezer jam:
Now for apple season…