How to Peel a Peach
It's hard to find anything to dislike about fresh summer peaches—their heavenly aroma, their sunset-like orange-to-pink color, the honeyed sweetness when you bite into one, the fuzzy, chewy skin…oh, wait. No one likes eating peach skin. Peach skin is gross. Sure, it's nice to touch, but eating it feels like chomping on a slippery, hairy piece of gum—I always want to fish it out of my mouth as quickly as possible. And I am a bonafide peach fanatic.
Thankfully, it's not that difficult to peel a peach, and there are several ways to do it.
Certain varieties, when really ripe, can be peeled with your fingers. Cut the fruit into wedges and peel back the skin gently, then discard it. Easy!
If your peaches are ripe and soft to the touch, the best way to remove the skin is by blanching them. Put a large stockpot of water on the stovetop to boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Set the bowl aside. As the water comes to a boil, cut a shallow ‘X' with a paring knife at the bottom of each peach. Once the water is boiling, use a large slotted spoon to place the peaches in the water for 30 seconds. Using the spoon, remove the peaches from the boiling water and immediately transfer the peaches into the ice water. When the peaches are cool enough to handle, the peel will slip right off. This method is great for recipes that call for pretty peach slices, like tarts, shortcakes, or fruit salads.
If your peaches are ripe but still firm to the touch, use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to remove the skin, but don't cut off too much fruit. This method is ideal for recipes where the fruit is cooked and their appearance doesn't matter as much, like peach pies or preserves.