It’s summer, and there is so much food in season that I am having a blast eating seasonally and enjoying the harvest in my area. Peaches are one of my favorites, and I can’t believe the size of some of the peaches that I’ve been picking up lately. They are literally bigger than a baseball, and they are so sweet and gorgeous. I’m enjoying them in all sorts of ways, and some recipes I’m making require me to peel the fruit.
Easily done, right? You just pick up your paring knife and have at it, trying to get as little of the flesh and as much of the skin as possible. No! Nope. It’s simpler than that, and you don’t end up hacking at your gorgeous peach. Step away from the knife.
The first step is to pick the right peach. You need a ripe peach, but not an overripe one. If you choose a peach that isn’t yet ripe, the flesh won’t want to separate from the skin, and it gets icky. An overripe peach means you’ll end up pulling off some of the flesh with the skin. Find peaches that are firm but yet have a slight give when you push into them.
Once you have your peaches, start a pot of water boiling on the stove. Generally, you want the water level to cover the peaches entirely. Because I was doing a demo and therefore just one peach at a time, I used a smaller pot and rolled my peach in it so that I wasn’t wasting water or time heating up a larger pot. Normally, I would use my bigger pot and do my peaches at one time.
While your water is getting ready to boil, create an ice bath that will be ready next to your pot. Simply get a large bowl and add ice about 1/3 of the way up. Fill it another third or slightly more with cool water, and you’re done.
Once your water is boiling, use a spider or other carrier tool to slowly place your peach into the water so it doesn’t splash. Count to 30, rolling it and using a little extra time if your water doesn’t quite cover the peach (ahem).
Remove your peach from the boiling water and place into your ice bath. Let it rest in the ice bath for 10-15 seconds.
Pick up your peach and gently squeeze the skin at the top of the peach near the stem. I find it’s easiest to peel the peach pulling the skin from the stem area down to the bottom. I get the biggest pieces of skin that way and am less likely to damage the flesh of the fruit. Note that this sucker is a little slippery because of the peach juice on the flesh, so handle it gently.
Once your peach is peeled, use immediately. Me? I made some fresh peach muffins yesterday that are reminiscent of my mom’s peach kuchen. So. Good.
And if you really want to be fancy, tell your friends you just learned how to blanch your peaches to peel them. Want to see it in action? Check it out here (where my camera and I had an argument about orientation and I lost).