Learn how to peel peaches using a simple peeler or blanching method, both make it easy to separate the skin from the flesh. This technique is great to use on fresh ripe stone fruit when making cakes, pies, toppings, or canning.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but juicy peaches do! This popular summertime fruit from the Prunus persica tree is like nature’s candy. The orange and red blushed skin reveals a sweet and tender flesh inside. When they’re in season, I love to use fresh peaches in savory and sweet applications.
If you’re looking to bake a stunning peach cobbler, pie, or can jams and jellies to enjoy all year long, removing the skin is the first step. It may be a little tedious, but it’s worth the effort. Use this simple guide for super easy peeling methods done in under a minute.
Peeling vs. Boiling
- The peeler is great for when the peach is firm but still ripe. Really soft or bruised peaches will end up being a juicy puddle.
- Boiling the peaches in hot water for just a few seconds works for very ripe peaches. It takes a few extra minutes to set up, but once the water is bubbling, the process is quick.
Wash and dry the surface of the peach as the fuzzy skin picks up dirt and debris easily.
Method 1: peeler tool
Use a hand peeler and apply light pressure to remove the skin with consistent downstrokes. Start from the top of the stem and move to the bottom of each peach, working your way all around. I prefer a Y-peeler because the handle is ergonomic to the direction your hand is moving.
Method 2: blanch and shock
In the restaurant industry, this technique is often used to cook green beans or peel tomatoes as a preparation step to use later. The extremely hot water instantly separates the peach skin from the flesh, but don’t leave the fruit in the water for too long or it will cook and become mushy.
Score the skin
Use a sharp knife, like a small paring knife to make a shallow 2-inch wide “X” on the bottom of each peach. The hot water lifts the skin where the knife score is. This creates a little tab that makes it easier to grab and pull the skin off with your fingers. Don’t make deep cuts, just a light score to the surface is all you need.
Place in boiling water
Bring a pot of water to a boil. There should be enough liquid to cover the peaches when submerged. I typically add one or two at a time so you don’t need a huge pot. Blanch until you see the score mark on the skin peel away from the flesh. Depending on how ripe and large the peach is, this could take 10 to 20 seconds. I recommend stopping at 10, you can always add them back to the water if needed.
Transfer to an ice bath
Use a slotted spoon or large spoon to remove the peaches and transfer them to an ice bath. The cold water will immediately halt the cooking process. After about one minute, remove, and dry the peaches before peeling.
Peel with your fingers
Use your fingertips to peel the peaches starting from the scored end. The skin should easily pull away from the flesh. If not, blanch and shock the peach again. You can also use a paring knife to help remove the skin or shave off any stubborn areas.
Ways to use this wonderful fruit
- As a filling for a peach crisp, cobbler, pie, or cake
- Use them in a fruit compote or sauce
- Blend it up for a peach dressing
- Make a peach jam, jelly, or preserve
- Make a peach smoothie or acai bowl
- Chop it up to add to overnight oats
Storing peeled peaches
Store whole or slices in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Wrap whole peaches in plastic wrap and then place in a resealable bag for extra protection. Place sliced peaches in an airtight container. Cut peaches can also be frozen in a single layer and stored for several months. To prevent the flesh from browning, you can squeeze a small amount of lemon juice over the surface.
How to Peel Peaches
- 4 peaches
- 1 quart (960 ml) water, plus more for boiling
- 4 cups ice cubes
- Wash the peaches with cook water. Dry the surface before peeling.
- With a hand peeler, use light pressure to remove the peach skin using consistent downstrokes. Start from the top of the stem moving down to the bottom. Peel around the peach until no skin is left.
- Use a small sharp knife to cut a shallow 2-inch wide “X” in the bottom of the fruit.
- Add enough water to a medium saucepan to cover the peaches when submerged. Heat pot over high heat until a rolling boil is reached and large bubbles break the surface.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine 1-quart water and ice. Set the ice bath aside.
- Add scored peaches to the boiling water, one to two at a time. Blanch until the skin starts to separate from the flesh where it was cut, about 10 seconds. It may take 20 seconds for larger or less ripe peaches.
- Immediately transfer the blanched peaches to the bowl of ice water to cool, about 1 minute.
- Repeat the blanching process with the remaining peaches.
- Pat dry and then use fingertips to remove the skin.
- If the skin is not releasing, blanch and shock again until you see the skin release.
- The blanch and shock boiling method works best for softer and riper fruit.