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Last Updated on June 14, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Many, many years ago, my mom taught me the easiest way to peel peaches and I have been using it ever since. Knowing how to peel peaches comes in handy when one lives in the peach state! Here in Georgia, I have an abundant selection of fresh peaches every summer and I like to stock up when they are cheap. Of course, peaches go bad very quickly. When you get them, freeze them back for use in your favorite peach recipes during the fall and winter months. I am going to share my peach peeling method with you, as well as a few easy peach recipes for you to try. They are great in frozen wine cocktails if you are feeling adventurous!
How can you tell if a peach is ripe?
So, how do you know if a peach is ripe? You don't want to freeze back unripe peaches because the flavor will be 'eh' and you will be disappointed. You really need to freeze peaches at the peak of freshness to maximize flavor. So, here is how you can choose a ripe peach:
- Color: Don't choose a pale peach. Color can vary depending on variety but it should be a deep, rich color.
- Texture: You can tell if a peach is ripe or not by a gentle, yet firm press of your thumb. If there's a little bit of a give, the fruit is almost ripe but not quite.
- Skin Texture: You can tell a ripe peach by looking for signs of shriveled skin around the stem. If there are wrinkles, your peach is ready to eat.
Do peaches continue to ripen after being picked? Yes. They can ripen after being picked. However, peaches that are picked too green will not ripen, no matter what you do. It is best to buy them ALMOST ripe if you don't need them that day. Just put them on the counter at room temperature and they will ripen within a few days. Refrigerate them when they are ripe and use within a few days.
How do you soften hard peaches?
So, you bought peaches that are just too hard to use right now in your favorite peach recipes. Now what? How do you soften hard peaches in a hurry? Follow these easy steps:
- Get a brown paper bag
- Add your unripe peaches to the bag and fold the end over tightly
- Let the peaches sit in a dry area at room temperature for 24 hours
- Check your peaches for ripeness and leave longer as needed
- Enjoy your peaches in your favorite peach recipe!
Easiest Way To Peel Peaches
Now that you have picked the perfect peach, you are ready to start peeling! Peeling a fresh peach can be a little tricky if you just grab a peach and a paring knife. If you really want to peel peaches in bulk just follow these easy directions!
- Make sure your peaches are fresh and not over ripe.
- Wash them under cool water and pat dry.
- If you find a bad spot, just cut it out with a paring knife
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Gently drop the peaches into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Make sure they are completely submerged. Let them sit for 1 minute. (very ripe peaches will need only 45 seconds, slightly under ripe ones will need up to 90 seconds)
- Remove the peaches from the water with the slotted spoon and immediately place in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Now you are ready to peel peaches...no knife required!
Now that you have finished blanching peaches, you are ready to start peeling them. First, remove the peach from the ice bath. Then, gently remove the skin from the peach with your fingers. It should just peel right off! If it doesn't, you will have to put it back in the boiling water for a few more seconds. Then, try again.
Once your peaches are completely peeled, grab a knife and slice from top to bottom, all the way to the pit. Remove slices and either place in a bag for freezing or use immediately in your favorite peach recipe.
This is seriously the easiest way to peel peaches and you will be buying them in bulk in no time!
Delicious Peach Recipes to Try
Living in the Peach State means I eat a lot of peaches! Here are a few delicious peach recipes to use up those frozen peaches in.
- Peach Breakfast Parfait Recipe With Fresh Peaches is great for a healthy snack or breakfast
- Balsamic Peach Chicken Skillet is the perfect savory peach recipe to try from Cooking Classy
- Chunky Peach Salsa is a great alternative to traditional salsa recipes
- Peach Pound Cake is the perfect summer pound cake recipe
- White Peach Sangria is a delicious summer cocktail recipe.
Now that you know the easiest way to peel peaches, you can try TONS of peach recipes this summer!
Have any other peach peeling tips to share?
(note: post updated and content added from previous publication date)
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.