Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Preparing Peaches

We have a very lovely neighbor that takes orders for peaches in the spring and picks them up from the orchard on his way home from visiting his children.  We are so very thankful for his kindness and have been so blessed with his generosity since we moved to this house.  Over the past several years I have gotten better at preserving the spring peaches.  I have made jam's, pies, and crisps.  They are all delicious!  I want to share with you how to prepare peaches for freezing.  The first year we got our peaches I had no idea how to prepare them to freeze and it took a few tries of trial and error to figure it out.  Hopefully this will save you some time :)  The amount I am working with started as a 1/2 bushel.  I made crisp out of the amount we received and we ate a few as well, the remainder I am preparing to freeze for pie's and crisp.  There is no right or wrong way this is my way use or adjust to whatever works for you :)
I turn the peach upside down or stem side down.  I use a serrated knife and start at the "point" of the peach. The actual bottom of the peach.  I scrape downward with the knife peeling the skin as I go.
I turn the peach as I continue scraping the peel off the peach.  I like to hold it over the "keep" bowl of sliced peaches because a ton of juice escapes the peach while peeling and I want to keep as much of that as possible.
When I get to the bottom or stem side of the peach I use the knife to cut off the skin and remove the stem at the same time tossing the skin into the dispose bowl.
While holding the peach in my hand I gently press the knife into the peach creating a slice until I can feel the peach pit or stone.  I continue doing this rotating the peach in my hand each time.  The slices do not have to be perfect.  I like to slice the peach thinly so that it easily cooks through when making pie  or crisp.
After I finish slicing the peach I simple place my thumbs on two slices and press my thumbs away from each other.  This begins the process of the slices separating from the peach stone or pit.  I continue this all the way around the peach.
When I get to the last few remaining slices I hold the peach stone or pit and grasp the remaining slices off releasing them and the stone from each other.  I throw the stone into the discard bowl as well.
When I am finished or my peach slice bowl is full I begin to fill freezer bags with the peaches.  I usually measure out eight cups of peaches and juice combined.  To make sure all the bags have about the same amount of juice I use a measuring cup and scoop down into the bowl getting some juice with each scoop.  Eight cups of peaches per bag is usually enough for a pie or crisp which is why I freeze this amount.  I was able to freeze four, eight cup bags this time and one three cup bag.  I also like to make peach crepe's so having a smaller amount in a bag is fine too :)  I hope this helps happy freezing.

A special thank you again to all the lovely visitors and those who have joined and commented on my blog.  I really enjoy writing and sharing things with all of you.  Have a wonderful day :)

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