If you’re just looking for a single peach sans skin, a paring knife or potato peeler will work just fine. But when a recipe calls for several peaches, there’s a much more efficient way to remove the skins.
- First, check that the peaches are ripe. Perfectly ripe peaches should feel firm, but should also give a little when you press into them.
- Use a paring knife to score the peach, making a shallow X at the base to just cut through the skin. This will make peeling much easier.
- Next, prepare an ice water bath. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside.
- Blanch the peaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then drop in several peaches (or as many as will fit in a single layer. Boil for about 30 seconds, or until the skin loosens where you scored an X at the base. If a peach is ripe, the skin will loosen immediately.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the peaches out of the boiling water and into the ice water. Let them chill for about 20 seconds. Repeat the blanching and chilling process for the rest of the peaches.
- Remove the peaches from the cold water, let them cool for a moment, and then hold them over the sink one at a time. Using your hands, peel the peach beginning at the previously-scored base. The skin should slip off effortlessly, fruit underneath left soft and smooth.
You can use this same technique to peel other stone fruits as well as tomatoes. So the next time you’re making a pie, cobbler, jam or salsa, the peeling process is sure to go a little smoother.
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