The perfectly peeled peach.
Wonderfully smooth flesh. No nicks, no gouges... no skin.
And no knife.
Do you know how to peel a peach without a knife – and get absolutely perfect results?
Here's a clue: you won't find yourself in hot water, but your peaches will!
1. To peel a peach without a knife, start with fully ripe peaches.
This peeling method works poorly with the super-hard peaches you often get at the grocery store. Choose peaches that are firm, yet yield a bit when you press them with your finger; this is a sign the peaches are actually ripe (and will taste good) – something you can't judge by their color alone.
Also, while you can certainly peel over-ripe, mushy peaches using this method, you'll probably lose a lot of flesh along with the skin – just as you would when peeling with a paring knife.
Test one peach first, to see if your peaches are ripe enough to slip their skins in boiling water.
Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
2. Test one peach first.
You want to to make sure your peaches are ripe enough to slip their skins in boiling water.
Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Gently lower the peach into the boiling water. Leave it there for 30 seconds. Not 30 seconds once it starts boiling again; just 30 seconds.
Use a spoon to remove the peach from the hot water, and plunge it into an ice water bath.
After 10 seconds or so, grab the peach, and pinch a piece of skin to get started; then simply peel. The skin will slip off easily. If it doesn't, peel peaches the normal way, with a knife; they're not ripe enough for this method.
Warning: naked peaches are slippery. Do this over the sink, or someplace where it won't matter if the peach goes squirting out of your hands.
3. Place peaches into a saucepan of gently boiling water.
Once you've peeled a single peach to make sure it's ripe enough to easily shed its skin using this method, boil as many at a time as can fit into your saucepan.
4. And that's how to peel a peach without a knife!
Oh, and remember – step... away... from... the knife.
Except when you're slicing/dicing the peeled peaches, which is easily accomplished as follows: use a knife to score the peaches all over, pressing into the flesh to the pit. Once the peach is criss-crossed with a crosshatch of lines, gently squeeze it; the pit will separate from the flesh, and the flesh will fall into chunks along your score lines.
Does this method work with other fruits? Well, it does with tomatoes and nectarines, and I'd assume it does with plums; but anything harder, or with a thicker skin? I think not.