I read somewhere that a ripe, juicy-sweet peach is basically a mouthful of summer. I totally agree.
Perfect in crisps, cobblers, pies, jam, fruit salad, smoothies, and all alone, peaches are definitely a Southern delicacy :)
But when you have 3 baskets full, how do you peel them all without going crazy? Why, you blanch them first, of course.
Blanching just means you dunk something in boiling water for a minute and then immediately plunge it into ice water to cool it off. Not hard at all. The point is to slightly cook the skin of the peach–making removal 17 times easier–without cooking the fruit itself.
I put my peaches into boiling water for between 50 seconds to a minute,
Transferred them to a big bowl of ice water,
And put them on the counter.
The skins slip right off–no knife needed!
Blanching the peaches isn’t a fail-proof way to simplify the peeling process. There are a lot of variables, the most important being the ripeness of the peach (softer is better than harder). But mine were just about right, and I didn’t have to risk wasting large chunks of the peach by gouging too deeply with the knife.
After they were all peeled, I sliced them for freezing. The ones I’ll use for smoothies are in large pieces and the ones I’ll use for crisp and cobbler are in thinner slices.
I also made peach freezer jam, but that’s a topic for another day. I’m still bitter at Ball Canning. (grrrr……….)
But we’ve had lovely peach smoothies and I’m looking forward to a toasty peach crisp with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, even in the middle of the winter!
I’d love to hear your favorite peach recipe!