frozen peaches question

lilacs_of_maySeptember 1, 2008

I have some frozen sliced peaches from last year that I'd like to make pies and cobbler with. I tried thawing a batch and they turned brown before they even thoroughly thawed. I soaked them in lemon juice and honey before I froze them, but obviously I didn't get that part right.

What should I do now? Can I put frozen peaches into a pie shell to bake? Can I still make juice, jam, or peach butter with them? They are still good, aren't they? They were fresh frozen and except for the one batch have never been thawed.

And what is the best way to treat this year's peaches to make sure they don't go brown like that? I'm new at this. I just bought the property with the peach tree on it a couple of years ago.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Fruit Fresh - it is ascorbic acid a food grade acid that prevents browning and is sold in most any grocery store - sometimes in the spice section and sometimes in the canning supplies. Just follow the directions on the label.

Year old fruit will have faded a fair amount in quality and flavor. You could use them to make jam mixed with another fruit to hide the color and give it more taste.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 10:27AM
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I'll look for the Fruit Fresh next time I go to the store.

Why do I need to hide the peach color? And I'm not sure why frozen fruit would lose that much quality. Will they turn brown regardless of what I do with them?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 4:21PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes they will turn brown - as you have already discovered according to your initial post. That is why you would want to mix with something else to disguise the color. Most would find brown peach jam or pie very unappealing.

Because of the high sugar content, possibility of bacterial contamination, and cell damage done by freezing, fresh fruit has a very limited frozen storage time - peaches are 2-4 months max. Cooked prior to freezing is 6 months average.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frozen Foods Storage/Shelf Life

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 5:44PM
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Oh, dear. This sounds like they're already compost. :-(

And it was a nice, big crop, too.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 6:03PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You need to learn how to can them. Store much longer if canned. ;)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 6:14PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

lilacs of may,

I'm a lot more optimistic than Dave about your peaches.

Compost? No way!

I freeze lots of them every year---just did a seven-litre basket today---exactly the way you describe. Sure, they outside will darken when exposed to air while they defrost, but they're still fine---did you try them? I bet they're delicious! One year I did so many I was still eating them after the NEXT peach season had come and gone, and they were still totally yummy. I think they keep their flavour slightly BETTER than canned, at least better than canned in a very light syrup, and if you use a heavier syrup they get too sweet for my taste.

Do anything cooked with them and they'll look fine, too.

Also, if you toss them in lemon juice or Fruit Fresh as soon as you take them out of the freezer, I think you'll find MUCH less discolouration as they thaw.

But, yes, sprinkling with Fruit Fresh before you freeze will help keep 'em bright.



    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:07PM
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Thanks, Zabby, that's good to hear. There's hope for my peaches!

Peach season has begun again. I'm picking up whole peaches off the ground where either the wind or the squirrels have knocked them down. They're green tinged, but partially ripe, so I'm going to set them out on the counter and see what they do.

I looked for Fruit Fresh at the grocery store and didn't find it, which is aggravating since I'll obviously need it pretty soon. I plan to freeze them in a light syrup, too. Too sweet and it becomes cloying, and I want to be able to taste the peaches.

Funny. The first nip of fall in the air, and I'm getting the urge to preserve, bake, and cook. I bought ingredients for zucchini bread today. Thank God I have that huge freezer in the garage.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I'm picking up windfalls about twice a day and keeping them until they ripen up a bit more. I'll be out there looking at my tomatoes and I hear "thunk!" "thump!" so peach season is definitely upon us again.

I found the Ball Canning site, which had a chart for freezer times. All noncitrus fruit is okay up to 12 months, so mine should still be all right. I thought of something else to do with them where it doesn't matter if they get brown: peach wine! I could also use a peach puree in peach bread or muffins.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 11:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

liacs - Just to clarify - I never say they couldn't be used.

What I said was "Year old fruit will have faded a fair amount in quality and flavor." Thus the standard recommendation for freezing peaches is 2-4 months to avoid that deterioration if possible. You can freeze them for 3 years if you wish but most wouldn't want to eat the result. ;) All foods have a freezer life span and fresh fruit is one of the shortest.

Your primary concern was the browning and as explained, that will happen and the older the frozen fruit the more it will brown.

Also, if these are windfalls you are using you may wish to review the discussion here on the safety of using windfalls. Personally I have no problems with it but many do and extra acidification of them is required for safety purposes because of the ground exposure/contamination. It is all explained in that current discussion on windfall apples.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 12:17AM
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The Ball canning site is wrong, then?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:05PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I just used up the rest of my frozen peaches in my Peach Jalapeno Jelly. I froze them 11 months ago and they were great. I did a rough chop with them and mixed in a cup of sugar before freezing. They were a little darker, but the flavor was as good a last fall. I am getting ready to freeze some more this year.

I say go ahead and use them. So what if you peaches are dark, if you are the one eating them, you know why they are dark.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:21PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I just used most of my crop of frozen peach and nectarine chunks to make peach-nectarine butter. I used what we froze this season, so not sure about long term freezing. The butter is a brownish color, just like apple butter, even if you buy it commercially, is also a brownish color. We did not see anything wrong with this, and the taste was really good. Here are the recipe instructions in case anyone is interested.



14 quarts of peaches and nectarine slices - they do not need to be peeled. I had previously frozen peaches and nectarines after washing, pitting and slicing, so I used these thawed peaches and nectarine slices.

Juice of 12 large Myers lemons

12 cups of sugar

1 tsp salt

Vinegar for the pressure bath (couple tablespoons)

3 quarts boiling water for canning bath


Boil peach and nectarine slices, add lemon juice, salt and sugar. Stir often so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Boil until it thickens, darkens and reduces to about 12 quarts of fruit. This could take a couple of hours or more.

Now carefully take immersion blender and blend until it is smooth. It should look very similar to apple butter. Can in clean and heated (heat in hot water batch) pint mason jars. Fit with lids and pressure can in 3 quarts boiling water and a couple tablespoons of vinegar for 10 minutes at 6 psi (or look up what is needed for your altitude, I am at 1600 feet).

Makes 24 pint jars.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:40PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

For whatever reason, I find peaches among the best candidates for freezing. Contrast with some raspberries I froze last year, which were looking kind of sadly shrunken when I took 'em out, though their flavour was still very fine in a puree. But the peaches hold up really well in my deep freeze, just in Ziplock freezer bags with the air sucked out. The texture and flavour is as good or better than canned, for me --- I usually do some both ways.

Blueberries do really well in my freezer, too. Almost as good as fresh, even TWO years later. (I haven't tried three...) Strawberries not quite as well but not bad at all, especially if I get the air out of the bag so no ice crystals form on them.

So, the BBB's estimate of about a year being a good rule of thumb for fruit keeping good quality has matched my experience, at any rate.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 6:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The Ball canning site is wrong, then?

*sigh* Let's try one more time.

No one said the Ball site was wrong.

No one said you couldn't use them. Just that some prefer not to.

No one said they would kill you.

No one said you had to throw them out - that was your conclusion.

What was said was - the quality of the fruit fades over time. So, the longer the time you freeze them the more the quality fades.

It really is just that simple.

Yes they will turn brown. The older they are, the browner they get no matter what you do to them up front. So freeze them for 10 years if you want. They are your peaches.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 6:46PM
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I am making a pie today with some peaches that browned in the freezer. They will be mixed with blueberries and that will hide any color they have ever had ;-)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 8:46AM
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