We have posted a similar article in the past but it was a longtime ago, we had no pictures and it`s just too important to skip and we`ve learned a small trick since that helps speed things up.
The first times I preserved with peaches, I peeled them with a pairing knife. In the course of two years I peeled about 14-3 liter baskets (about 85 pints) of peaches with a pairing knife. The fact that my peaches had harsh edges that made them look more like a puzzle piece from Tetris rather than an organic orb was not an issue as they became jam and butterscotch.
But they were useless for peach slices. This is what I wanted:
Peeleing a peach is a whole lot easier when you learn that blanching them in boiling water (for as little as 30 seconds) will have the peels recoiling and the fruit bursting forward.
Here`s a couple of tricks to make this process the quickest you can:
- Bring the water to a heavy boil before dropping a peach into it. The peach will drop the temperature of the water (even if the peach was room temperature). Cooler water means a longer bath and a longer bath means that there will be some cooking as well as peeling. You want this to be as hot as possible.
- Use a ridiculous amount of water. The more water there is, the less the temperature will drop.
- Use gloves to peel the peaches. You won`t have to wait as long.
- Do not cool the peaches in the sink. You will lose lot`s of great juice down the drain
- The skin should come off in small sections. We`ve frozen our skin to dehydrate later for tea (more on that when we do it).
Last tip: buy freestone. Freestone peaches simply allow the flesh to come off the pit with greater ease – this is essential when you`ve blanched them and things are tender and slippery at best!