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Here is an easy way to peel peaches. A quick dunk in boiling water followed immediately by an ice bath – this is called blanching – separates the peach’s skin from its flesh. Afterward, the skin slides right off, and none of the luscious meat of the peach is lost by clumsy peeling.
Recipes often ask for “peeled peaches,” and you want the work to go quickly, right? Although blanching seems like an extra step, it is the best way to easily peel a peach. It works especially well on soft, ripe fruit that can be challenging to peel with a peeler.
Why learn to peel peaches
- Peaches are good and good for you. Putting fruit in deserts, like Peach Crisp, does not make them any less nutritious and counts toward the recommended five-a-day fruit and vegetable nutritional requirement.
- Saves time. Peeling enough peaches for any recipe can be a drag. You will be amazed at how quickly and efficiently blanching peaches gets the job done.
- Will make you want to take advantage of in-season peaches at their peak. A juicy, tree-ripened peach is a very tasty thing. It has the power to convert even the pickiest of eaters. And finally, in-season produce is always at its lowest price of the year.
HOW TO peel peaches
To create peel-able peaches, make a quick x on the peaches’ bottom with a knife, plunge it ever so briefly into boiling water, and then into ice water.
score & Blanch peaches
- X marks the spot! Cut an x in the bottom of each peach.
- Have a large pot of water on at boiling and use a spoon to safely lower the peaches into the hot water. Do not overcrowd
- When you notice the skin start to peel back or after the allotted time, remove the peaches.
- Plunge the peaches immediately into an ice bath.
Peel the peaches
- Once the peach is cool enough to handle, grab hold of one of the loose corners made by the X.
- Carefully peel back the skin. It should come off easily.
- Keep going until the peach is bare.
TIPS FOR peeling peaches
- Make the x. As you see, scoring the peach before blanching creates an easy entry point for peeling. Don’t skip the step.
- Use your pasta insert. If your stockpot comes with a pasta insert or colander, this is a good time to use it. You can easily remove all the peaches from the boiling water at one time.
- Use a big pot. To blanch properly, the peaches need to be fully submerged in boiling water and have enough room to roll around. Choose a pot that will fit all your peaches or work in batches.
- Try a slotted spoon or spider. A wooden spoon works fine, but a slotted spoon or spider is even better to better drain off all the hot water, so it does not dilute the ice bath.
- Have a towel handy. You may find the slippery wet peaches easier to peel if you lightly dry them on a kitchen towel before peeling or even hold the wet peach in a kitchen towel. For the impatient, this also works if the peaches have not completely cooled.
what to DO WITH peeled peaches
HOW TO STORE peeled peaches
Like apples or avocados, cut peaches will oxidize – turn brown quickly after being exposed to air. For that reason, it is best to use peeled peaches immediately. However, you can minimize browning by sprinkling peeled peaches with lemon juice.
HOW LONG WILL peeled peaches LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
Tightly wrapped peeled peaches are good in the refrigerator for up to four days.
CAN I FREEZE peaches after boiling & peeling?
Yes, you can freeze peaches after boiling and peeling them. For ease of packaging, it might be best to slice them, before freezing. Arrange the slices on a tray, freeze until hard, and pack tightly in freezer-safe containers. Also, due to oxidization (see above,) you may want to sprinkle with lemon juice as well. For whole peaches, wrap tightly in freezer-proof material and store in freezer bags. Frozen peaches will stay at peak quality for about a year.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your particular peaches probably need to be blanched in boiling water for a few more seconds to loosen the skin. To avoid this situation, try doing one test peach for the allotted amount of time and then adding or subtracting time-based on those results.
Yes, peach skin is edible, and it contains fiber and anti-oxidants. After all, when people eat whole peaches, they rarely peel them. That said, many cooks prefer the texture of skinless fruit in recipes, especially things like chutneys and jams. Also, if you are worried about residual pesticides on fruit skin, you may also want to always peel your peaches.
Plunging the blanched peaches into ice water cools off the peaches immediately. This makes the peaches easier to handle faster and stops the cooking process, so the peaches do not become mushy.
Yes, people report success blanching peaches, one at a time, in the microwave. Cut the x on the bottom, and then microwave for 30 seconds. Test the peel for looseness. Zap for a few more seconds if necessary. This method may not be time-efficient for dealing with lots of peaches.
Peaches are a lovely fruit for topping oatmeal, adding to smoothies and fruit bowls, and baking. Learning how to blanch peaches for peeling – to use right away or freeze for later- is definitely worth the time.
MORE helpful fruit tutorials:
- How to Make Applesauce
- How to Cut a Pomegranate
- How to Cut a Peach
- How to Cut a Watermelon
- How to Cut Mango
- How to Cut a Kiwi
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How to Peel Peaches
- 4 Peaches
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cut an “X” in the bottom of each peach, just deep enough to penetrate the skin.
- Prepare a bowl of water with ice.
- Place the peaches carefully into the boiling water, without overcrowding the pot, and blanch for about 30 seconds until you notice the skin of the peaches start to peel back.
- Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the peaches from the pot, and place in the prepared ice bath.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the skin using your hands; it should remove very easily.
- Use a knife to cut the peach along its midline. Carefully twist both halves in opposite directions to separate the pieces. Pull apart and detach the pit. Cut as desired for recipe.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.