Monday, August 06, 2007

kitchen essentials — peeling a peach properly

when it is peach (prunus persica) season, i buy many. in canada, most come from british columbia and ontario. i particularly like this fruit and make many different things from it, everything from pies and cobblers to jams and chutneys.

very few recipes actually use peaches with their skins on, so the following method is a great way for preparing the fruit in no time at all. it also feels a little less messy, in the end. it is particularly useful as there is little to no loss of the fruit itself compared to the conventional way of doing it with a peeler. it can be done quickly and in large quantities.

note that there are two varieties of peaches: clingstone and freestone. try to get the freestone type as it makes removing the flesh of the fruit all that much easier.

how to peel a peach easily

what you need:

ice water
boiling water
paring knife

lemon juice, opt.


prepare a bowl of ice water and keep nearby while following the next step.

bring to boil a pot of water, leaving space to accommodate for displacement once the peaches are added.

add your peaches in batches and boil EXACTLY one minute. this is long enough for the peach skin to detach but not cook the fruit. there will be "scum" that comes off the peaches as they briefly cook. don't worry about it and don't waste time getting rid of it; it does nothing to affect the outcome.

immediately remove the peaches and place them in the ice water. leave them for at least a minute.

remove from the ice water and with your finger or a small knife make a little rip in the skin.

pull the skin off the peach gently. sometimes, depending of the type of peach, the skin may be a little harder to get off and cling a little to the flesh. it should, however, come off fairly easily.

to prepare your peaches, cut them into the needed sizes over a bowl to catch any juices from the fruit. be careful as they're slippery!

use as called for in your recipe.

note that sliced peaches, with time, will oxidize and discolour so you may want to add a touch of lemon juice to the cut fruit if not using immediately. after the final ice bath, if you are not using them right away, keep the skins on to prevent browning and remove the skin when needed.

the fruit can also be frozen at this point for later use.


Roberto said...

Same as tomatoes!

burekaboy — said...

hi roberto - yup, exact same way :)

Vcuisine said...

I always do the same thing for peeling tomato. Viji

burekaboy — said...

viji - i don't think, off hand, there are other things beside peaches and tomatoes that are done this way. it works perfectly every time :))

Richa said...

that's a good tip! i like to have more than my share of peaches when in season ..LOL
would like to see what all u make with it, hope to see ur peach chutney soon :)

burekaboy — said...

hi richa - glad you like :) i'm actually making peach chutney in the next few days to use up some of the ones i have. stay tuned ....