Sep 17

How to: Peel a Peach


How to: Peel a Peach

Yesterday I wrote about the Peach Crumb Bars with Hazelnut Streusel that we have been snacking on over the past few days. In that post, I promised that I would show you how to peel a peach as part of my ongoing “How to” series. Of course, peeled peaches are not just relegated to crumb bars, but are called on in recipes ranging from pie to ice cream.

I also mentioned that my eldest son turned 10 yesterday. That means that the fridge is packed with treats – crumb bars, chocolate birthday cake and ice cream. That ice cream is not just for serving with cake. Oh no, we have bigger plans.

This afternoon, we are picking up my son’s three best buddies and taking them to watch my son play in his soccer game. After the game we are headed back to our house for pizza, movies and a sleepover birthday party. And the ice cream? We’ll be loading up their bowls with scoops of vanilla and mint chocolate chip ice cream and each boy will get to load on whatever toppings they choose. Marshmallows, chocolate chips, coconut, sprinkles, caramel sauce, maraschino cherries – the works. Just what every kid needs right before bedtime, right? If you don’t hear from me for a couple of days, it is safe to assume that I have been worn into complete exhaustion by a pack of young hooligans. Send help.

I have seen other people suggest peeling peaches with a vegetable peeler. However, I find that you lose a bit of a the flesh using that method and it is more labor-intensive. The method outlined below requires a knife, a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water and three or four minutes of your time.

How to do it:
With a paring knife, cut an “X” through the skin in the bottom of each peach.

How to Peach 1

Bring a medium or large pot (depending on the number of peaches) of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice. Do this step now so it’s ready to go when you need to dunk the peaches.

Place the peaches into the boiling water for 45 seconds. If you leave them much longer, the peaches will start to cook and soften.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the peaches out of the water and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let the peaches sit in the ice water for a few minutes to cool.

How to Peach 2

Starting at the “X” on the bottom of the peaches and using your fingers or a paring knife, peel off the skin from each peach. Easy, right?

How to Peach 4

Recipes that use peeled peaches:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Peach Crumb Bars with Hazelnut Streusel
All Day I Dream About Food’s Peach Cardamom Jam (Sugar Free)
She Wears Many Hats’ Peach Wontons
Smitten Kitchen’s Bourbon Peach Hand Pies
Never Enough Thyme’s Homemade Peach Ice Cream

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bev Weidner September 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Well, look at that! I may just go peach peelin’ for a while!


2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) September 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Happy peeling!


3 Amy @ The Nifty Foodie September 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Wow! Learn something new everyday! Thanks for sharing. :-)


4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) September 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I’m glad you found it helpful, Amy.


5 Nutmeg Nanny September 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Love these tips…it’s exactly how I do mine too :)


6 JulieD September 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

So cool and neat, Dara! Thanks!


7 CouponClippingCook September 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I’m so glad you posted this. It can be such a mess to peel peaches especially when they’re on the ripe side. Love how easy this is.


8 Katrina September 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Just how I do mine–perfect every time!


9 Kristina @ spabettie September 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

10 year olds?! yeah, they won’t be sleeping until … 3? 😉 (you’ll have to let me know how close I got…)

thank you for this – I had no idea and it looks pretty easy!


10 Liz September 18, 2011 at 5:39 am

Perfectly done!!! Great tutorial~


11 Curt September 18, 2011 at 5:45 am

You’re right, it is easy!


12 Katrina September 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

Neat! I’ve used quite a few different methods and this one is definitely the best. Thanks!


13 Courtney September 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

Great tip! They look so yummy!


14 Nichol September 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

Very cool tip! I had no clue this is how it should be done, I use a peeler lol.


15 Barbara | Creative Culinary September 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

I do the same with tomatoes…though to be perfectly honest I often just cook dishes and leave the peels on. I say it’s for the nutrient value. I’m a liar…it’s more about time!


16 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. September 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

Great tips and photos! Hope you had a great weekend!


17 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme September 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’ve always preferred this method of peeling peaches. Not just because it’s simpler, but because you retain so much of that beautiful rosy blush color that’s just underneath the skin :-)


18 Maria September 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Utah peaches are so good right now. I can’t get enough. Great tip!


19 Maris (In Good Taste) September 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Great tip! I may just have to make me a peach crumble now!


20 Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

This is brilliant Dara – I never thought to do this for peaches, I do it for tomatoes (sometimes!)


21 Frank September 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Brilliant technique! I usually enjoy peach skin. In Italian there’s a saying: Pela il fico all’amico e la pesca al nemico, which means “peel a fig for your friend, but peel a peach only for your enemy.” The thinking being that peaches taste so good with the peel on. But of course the peel doesn’t belong in some recipes so knowing how to peel one without losing the flesh is a great skill to have!


22 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective September 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Great demo Dara!


23 marie cinqmars September 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

So that’s how it’s done, I usually just dive right in as impatient as I am.


24 marla September 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Great tips Dara. By now I believe the sleep over is finished…I hope your son and his buddies had a blast. How could they not will all of those amazing Cookin’ Canuck goodies :)


25 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen September 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I had no idea! How easy is that!


26 myFudo September 19, 2011 at 2:00 am

What a way to peel peach :) Nice photos.


27 Kimby September 19, 2011 at 4:10 am

I enjoy your “how to” series, Dara — very helpful, even for a seasoned old kitchen veteran like me. :) Hope you survived “make your own sundae” night — sounded like a fun celebration!


28 Brooks at Cakewalker September 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

Dara, the photos of the glistening peaches are gorgeous. I use the same method for tomatoes. I hope the pack of hooligans don’t do you in…we need you around for more tips and spot on recipes…Happy belated birthday to your son!


29 blackbookkitchendiaries September 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

I really love how beautiful your photos are!! thank you for sharing this tip… and big hugs to your son!


30 Carolyn September 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

The x on the bottom is a great tip, Dara! I’ve heard of the blanching before and I know it certainly makes a difference with both peaches and tomatoes.


31 Steph @ A Life without Ice Cream September 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’ve always just done the hot water and do not adhere to the 45 second rule… I’ll have to give your method a try for sure!!

Those peaches look delicious!


32 Becky at Vintage Mixer September 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Love your how-to series! Thanks for this tip Dara.


33 Melissa @ thefauxmartha September 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

No way!? This is brilliant.


34 Quyen - Kitchen Runway September 22, 2011 at 1:14 am

Great tip Dara!! Quick and easy!!


35 Sara September 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

I have a question–I have been peeling peaches this way without problems, but the last time I used this method they would not peel for the life of me. I don’t know if it was the variety, or if the peaches were not ripe enough. (I try to buy from the farmer’s markets when I can and these were from the grocery store). In any case, very frustrating.


36 Aurelia July 20, 2012 at 5:18 am

Thanks for this nice how-to! I think the peaches have to be extremely fresh to peel them like this?


37 Sandi September 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Works on nectarines and plums too. Such a time saver for large amounts at canning/freezing/jellyjam time.


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