Learn how to cut a peach to make halves, wedges, and cubes. Simple knife cuts and pit removal make it easy to prepare for salads, desserts, dips, and beverages!
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When the market bins are full of ripe peaches, grab a few to incorporate into delicious recipes. Its versatility and natural sweetness make them the star of any dish. Cutting it is very simple. The trickiest part is removing the pit to make the flesh easier to slice. My step-by-step guide walks you through the whole process.
Peaches (prunus persica) are stone fruit, also called drupes, that grow on trees of the rose family. The edible fruit has thin fuzzy skin and a hard stone or pit in the center. The juicy and pulpy yellow or white flesh has a balanced sweet and tart taste. Its peak season is the summer, so don’t miss out when you’re cruising the produce section. Peaches are the ideal ingredient in appetizers or desserts to share at a barbecue or blend one up for a refreshing smoothie.
The fuzzy skin can grab onto dirt and bacteria during harvesting and transportation. Wash it well with cool running water to remove any debris. This process also prevents any food spoilage organisms from contaminating the flesh when making cuts.
There are two options moving forward:
- Remove the peel – make wedges or cubes.
- Keep the peel on – make halves, quarters, wedges, or cubes.
METHOD A) Remove the peel
There are two ways to peel a peach. First, if the peach is not too ripened, you can use a peeler to remove the skin. Otherwise, you can score the skin on top and blanch them in boiling water for 15 seconds. Afterward, shock them in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. This technique releases the skin without cooking the fruit.
When making baked desserts like a peach cobbler, it’s preferred to use peeled peaches. When the fruit is cooked, the pectin in the cell walls softens, making them tender in baked goods and sauces. The skin is fibrous, so it may be desirable to remove unless you enjoy the extra texture.
Cut into wedges
The fruit may be slippery after peeling. Make sure to dry the surface with a clean towel. I find it easier to cut peeled fruit into wedges. Hold the peach with the stem side facing up. Use a paring knife to cut lengthwise into angled pieces. If needed, cut the flesh away from the pit to remove. This yields about 10 to 12 slices.
Cut into cubes
Once you have wedges, they can be broken down further into dice. Cut each wedge into ¼ to ¾-inch pieces depending on use. They can now be added to a fruit salsa, chutney, topping for yogurt or oatmeal, or acai bowl.
METHOD B) Keep the peel on
Hold the peach, starting at the top of the stem where the natural indent is. Use a sharp paring knife to cut down into the flesh until it hits the pit. Continue to cut around until it reaches the other side. Unpeeled peaches are quick and easy to prep. Plus, the skin contains more nutrients because it has extra fiber and antioxidants.
Option 1 – Remove the pit
Hold each half, then twist. If it comes apart quickly, you have a freestone peach. If you need to cut away the pit from the flesh, it’s probably a clingstone peach.
I always use a small knife to ensure that you don’t cut yourself. Choose one of the sides, then use the blade’s tip to make minor cuts, following the curvature of the pit to separate the flesh. The other half will now still have the pit still attached in the center. Make small, shallow, sawing motions to remove it.
Cut into wedges or cubes
Working one half at a time, cut into quarters or wedges about ½ to ¾- inch thick. Cut into smaller cubes if desired. Add to a fruit salad, salad, or dice for a dip or topping on a dessert.
Option 2 – No pit removal
Similar to making wedges with peeled peaches, you can cut wedges around the fruit. Use a small knife to cut away each piece from the pit. I find this to be a faster, alternative method. This technique only works well for quarters or wedges.
Hands down, the best time to enjoy peaches is in the summer. They typically start to appear in the market around May and linger until the beginning of September. Their peak is between June and August. When picking, it should have a slight give when pressed on the “shoulder” area near the stem.
The fruit goes from very firm and crisp with little flavor to soft, juicy, and sweet when ripe. Avoid fruit that’s easily indented when squeezed because it’s overripe, and the flesh starts to get mealy. A ripe peach will have a floral, sweet scent.
If not yet ripe, store peaches on the counter at room temperature, stem-side down in a single layer, so they don’t get crushed. To speed up the process, place in a paper bag with an ethylene-producing fruit like a banana or apple, check after each day.
Do not store unripe peaches in the refrigerator as it slows down ripening. Only chill them once they are ripe and you’re not ready to use them. Store in the fridge for about 1 week, or until the skin starts to get wrinkled or flesh is squishy. This is a sign it’s getting dehydrated. Store cut pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days.
Ways to use peaches
- Add peeled wedges to make a peach crisp
- Cut pieces and add to a smoothie or fruit popsicle
- Cut halves to make grilled peaches for a healthy dessert
- Add wedges to a fruit salad or with leafy greens
- Add cubes as a topping for acai bowls, yogurt, or oatmeal
- Chop it up for a sweet salsa
Clingstone peaches are a variety that has a pit that adheres to the flesh, whereas you can easily remove the pit of freestone peaches with your fingers. There is also a semi-clingstone variety available.
Yes! The skin contains fiber and antioxidants from the colorful plant pigments. Purchase organic fruit if you’re concerned with any pesticide residue. However, washing well helps to remove dirt and debris.
If not buying locally, peaches may be picked while still hard to ensure safe transportation and minimal damage. To speed up the ripening process, place them in a single layer in a paper bag with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas emitted will accelerate the softening of the flesh.
A medium-sized peach (about 5 ounces, 140 to 150 grams) yields about ½ cup of sliced fruit, about 10 to 12 pieces.
Yes, but only freeze ripe fruit. Cut into wedges or cubes, then place in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag—lay flat in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How do you reduce browning on peaches?
When peaches are cut, their flesh is exposed to oxygen. Over time, the air causes the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in the fruit to interact with the phenolic compounds, which causes browning on the surface. To slow down this reaction, squeeze some citrus juice like lemon or lime over it. The ascorbic acid reacts with the oxygen first instead of the enzymes.
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How to Cut a Peach
- 1 peach
- Rinse the peach under cool running water to remove any dirt. Dry with a clean towel.
Method A) Remove the Peel
- Use a peeler to remove the skin from ripe peaches. Alternatively, cut a shallow “X” into the bottom of the peaches and blanch them in boiling water for 15 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, remove the peel with your fingertips.
- Slices: Cut peaches into ¾-inch thick slices. Dry with a clean towel if slippery before cutting.Wedges: Hold the peach with the stem-side facing up. Use a paring knife to cut lengthwise into angled pieces, about ½ to ¾-inch thick. If needed, cut the flesh away from the pit to remove. Cubes: Cut each wedge into ¼ to ¾-inch pieces.
Method B) Keep the Peel On
- Option 1 – Remove the Pit: Use a paring knife, starting at the top of the stem where the natural indent is located, cut into the flesh until it hits the pit. Continue to cut around until it reaches the other side.For freestone peaches, hold each half and twist to separate. For clingstone peaches, choose one of the sides, and use the tip of a knife's blade to make small cuts, following the curvature of the pit to separate it from the flesh. Repeat with the other half.Cut halves into quarters, or wedges about ½ to ¾- inch thick. Cut into smaller cubes if desired.
- Option 2 – No pit Removal: Use a paring knife to cut pieces lengthwise into quarters or thinner wedges, about ½ to ¾-inch thick. If needed, cut each piece away from the pit. For cubes, cut each wedge into ¼ to ¾-inch pieces.
- Serving Size: Based on about a 5 to 6-ounce peach, about 1/2 cup slices per serving.
- Storing: Place ripe peaches in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Refrigerate cut pieces in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
- Freezing: Store in a single layer in a large resealable bag. Fruit can be frozen for up to 3 to 6 months. Do not defrost before use, or the texture will become mushy.
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