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Jun 1, 2007 05:43 PM

How do you peel a peach? Really, how do you?

Last year I bought some beautiful ripe peaches and then attempted to peel them for salsa and all I managed to do was bruise them and squeeze the juices out of them before I was done. First I tried cutting them in half and pitting them. Then I tried to keep them whole and peel them, then pit them, and I got about the same results.

Is there some secret to peeling peaches and not destroying them in the process?

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  1. I believe you need to blanch them first...I've seen it done but have not done it myself...hopefully, others with experience will help out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Val

      I use my potato peeler to peel everything. If the peaches are real ripe you have to sort of wiggle the peeler up and down as you go around the fruit. You also have to use the wiggle technique with tomatoes as well, but trust me it will work.

    2. I usually cut them in quarters or eighths, carefully pry each section off the pit, then use a paring knife at either end of the peel and gently pull from the end half way, repeat from the other end. Not too may problems that way.

      Edit: Must be tired.
      Score the peel first in quarters or eighths, knife under one end and peel, then cut and remove from pit.

      1. To peel, blanch for just 1 minute in boiling water; skins will loosen, allowing you to slit the skin and slip a sharp knife beneath tit and peel.

        1 Reply
        1. re: janeer

          After the 1 minute boil, put them into a bowl of ice water for a few minutes so they don't stay hot and "cook". I think it also helps loosen the skin more. But... if the peaches aren't ripe this technique really doesn't work well. I make a peach crisp the other night and ended up having to take the peeler to the peaches that I had already blanched.

        2. Or, instead of blanching, you can get a Messermeister serrated peeler, which can actually peel soft fruits like peaches and tomatoes. It's genious, I tell you.

          Here it is:

          5 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            You know I have one of these. I just don't know how to use it. I know that's pathetic. I bought it to peel tomatoes and I could never get the hang of it. If you use the serrated part all it does is make a bunch of tiny jullienned-sized cuts on the skin but it doesn't remove the skin.

            I feel so inadequate...

            1. re: Pate

              OMG someone else who peels tomatoes! I'm not sure this technique would work for peaches, but if you're just doing one or two tomatoes, stick a kitchen fork in the stem end, rotate it over your gas burner (should work over a hot electric element as well) for 30-60 seconds, trying to cover all areas. Then hold under cold running tap water and the skin will shrink and crack. Cut the stem end out and peel easily.

              1. re: nemo

                I learned the perfect tomato peeling method from the NY Times many years ago. dunk the tomato in rapidly boiling water for 10 seconds and rinse under cold water. The steam that forms under the skin loosens it, and it peels right off.

            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I don't like them for "regular" peeling purposes, but for thin-skinned fruits and vegs the Messermeister peelers are amazing, aren't they? (They work well on peppers, too.) A brand new carbon-steel bladed peeler can work, but they get just a little too dull almost immediately to use them regularly for this purposes.

              Blanching is OK if you're going to cook with whatever you're peeling, but does affect the flavor enough to make it unacceptable for eating raw, IMO.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Zeiless(sp?) also makes one of those and it works great on both peaches and tomatoes. For thicker-skinned fruits and vegs, use a regular peeler or you will score the fruit. They cost about $6.

              2. Blanch them! Bring a pot of water to a low simmer. Glently lower the peaches into the water. If the peaches are ripe, it just takes a minute - you don't want to cook them! The way you know they're done is if you drag gently on the skin, it quickly pulls away. Plunge immediately into an iced water bath to cool and stop the cooking process. The skins then come off very, very easily.

                2 Replies
                1. re: meta

                  And if you have only one peach to peel, fill a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup about halfway with water and microwave until boiling. Just as meta said, put in the peach until the skin loosens, then stop the cooking with cold water. No need to bring a whole pot of water to a boil. I hate peach skins and I always remove them.

                  1. re: bakergal

                    I also make a little X with my knife at the bottom of the peach. That way it recedes back from the flesh and you have a starting point from which to peel.