Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Peel a Peach (or Tomato)

Staring at a large box of peaches, having already made a few batches of jam and a galette, knowing that with each passing hour the peaches were ripening, I decided to simply peel the rest of the lot and freeze the slices, buying me time to enjoy the sweetness of the fruit at a later maybe December when fresh, local fruit is but a memory.
I put a pot of water on the stove, filled another big bowl with ice water and got to work.

Peeling delicate produce like peaches and tomatoes is really quite simple and quick. The same principles apply to both. Make a "X" in the bottom of the fruit with a paring knife, drop it in a pot of boiling water for one minute (sometimes longer if the fruit is super-sized). Transfer the fruit to a bowl of ice water. When the fruit is a comfortable temperature to handle, gently slip the skin off of the fruit. Just be careful to keep your hands clean and goop-free as you work through the batch because the fruit and knife can end up a bit slick and juicy. It's easy to send a slippery ball richocheting around the kitchen if you lose your grip.
From here, your options are many. Canning, jamming (or saucing for tomatoes), freezing. Chutneys, preserves, relishes. Breakfast, dinner or dessert. Or maybe all of the above. With as many peaches as I just peeled, why limit myself?

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