How to Cook Peaches

Publish Date May 29, 2024 1 Minute Read

Peach Perfect

There's nothing quite like an in-season summer peach. While these delicious summertime staples are known for their sweetness, they can be savored in countless culinary creations. Whether baked into a pie, grilled to caramelized perfection or simply enjoyed fresh, peaches can lend their sweetness to a variety of dishes. But before exploring the many ways to enjoy peaches this season, let’s learn more about choosing and preparing this quintessential summer stone fruit.

  • Picking the Perfect Peach
    Finding the right peach requires using most of your senses. The peach should have nice, bright coloring and no visible bruising. A ripe peach should have a little “give” when you press lightly on the flesh. However, avoid peaches that are too soft, since these are probably too ripe. You can also smell the fruit, checking for a nice peachy scent.
  • Prepping Peaches
    Once you’ve picked the perfect peach, it’s time to decide how you’re going to enjoy it. There are as many ways to prep a peach as there are to eat it. For simple everyday eating, simply wash and dry your peach before enjoying. If you’re slicing the peach to use as a topping for ice cream or yogurt, in a fruit salad or simply for ease of eating, consider using some lemon juice to prevent browning. For baking or grilling, split the peach in half and remove the pit. There’s no need to remove the skin – in fact, it can help the peach hold its shape when being grilled. If you’re planning to make a compote or jam with your peaches, score an “X” into the peach skin before adding it to boiling water. Blanch the peach for about 30 seconds before transferring it to an ice bath. Starting at the “X,” peel away the skin before chopping your peach.

Peachy Sweet Treats

Peach desserts are a true celebration of summer. These sweet treats are best enjoyed on a warm summer day or shared as the finale to a cookout.

This Peach Upside Down Sweet Tea Cake makes a great afternoon treat. The peaches are the star of this recipe and deliver most of the sweetness, balancing with the rich brown sugar and the flavor of tea for a cake that’s not too sweet.

No summer dessert spread would be complete without a classic Peach Cobbler. The flaky crust absorbs some of the sweet peach flavor while the ice cream melts into the hot desert for a creamy and refreshing treat that’s just right at the end of a hot day.

Already have the grill going for a cookout? These Grilled Peaches are a showstopper. The flesh of the peach and the brown sugar caramelize on the grill for an intense and decadent flavor. Serve with some ice cream for the ultimate sweet summer treat.

Sweet and Savory

With their bright, sweet flavor, peaches make a delicious seasonal addition to savory dishes. Impress your guests with these recipes featuring peaches paired with the unexpected.

Start your evening out right with this Cedar Plank Brie and Peaches appetizer. The combination of the salty crackers, creamy cheese and sweet peaches is sure to be a hit. Thyme adds a depth of flavor that elevates this dish to be truly memorable.

Feature the classic combination of salty and sweet with this recipe for Stuffed Peaches. Pairing the sweet peaches with salty prosciutto and a bold cheese helps all the flavors balance each other. This recipe makes a great pairing for grilled steaks.

Speaking of steaks, this Ribeye Steak with Grilled Peaches and Pineapple recipe is a great way to showcase the flavors of summer. The smokiness from the grill, the caramelized fruit and the way these flavors come together make for a truly craveable meal.

Preserving Peaches

While there are plenty of ways to enjoy fresh peaches, sometimes we end up with too many perfectly ripe peaches. Other times, we know that we’ll start craving these flavorful fruits in the middle of winter. Our 2 favorite ways to make the most of peach season are canning and freezing peaches when they’re at their ripest. With a little planning, you can enjoy peach cobbler with frozen peaches or a flavorful fruit salad with canned peaches any time of the year.

Frozen Peaches

Frozen peaches are a great way to preserve that summertime flavor for cooler months. You can use them for smoothies, as toppings or to make peach cobbler any time you catch a craving. Here are a few simple steps to get fabulous frozen peaches. Score an “X” into the peach skin before adding it to boiling water. Blanch the peach for about 30 seconds before transferring it to an ice bath. Starting at the “X,” peel away the skin before slicing or chopping your peach. Then, lay your peach slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them out so the peaches aren’t touching each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1-2 hours, or until frozen. After they’re frozen, store your peaches in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 12 months.

Canned Peaches

Canning peaches is another great way to enjoy your peaches long after summer is over. To prep your peaches for canning, first remove the skin by scoring an “X” into the peach skin before adding it to boiling water. Blanch the peach for about 30 seconds before transferring it to an ice bath. Starting at the “X,” peel away the skin before slicing or halving your peaches.

After you’ve removed the skin, it’s time to start canning. Wash and rinse your jars, lids and bands with soap and hot water. Rinse thoroughly. Place the jars in a large pot of simmering water to sterilize them. Keep them hot until ready to use. When you’re ready, pack the peaches tightly into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving about ½” of space at the top of the jar. You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each jar to preserve the color of the peaches. If you prefer your peaches in a syrup, you can make one by using a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. Heat the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved, then pour the syrup over the peaches, leaving ½” of space at the top of the jar.

Once the peaches are packed into the jars, use a plastic or wooden utensil to remove any air bubbles trapped between the peaches. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to make sure you get a proper seal. Place the lids on the jars, followed by the bands, and screw them on firmly, but not too tight. Then, place the filled jars in a boiling water canner or large stockpot with a rack at the bottom. Cover the jars with at least 1-2” of water. Bring the water to a gentle boil and process the jars for the recommended time according to your altitude and the size of the jars. Once the processing time is complete, use a jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the canner. Allow them to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn't flex or make a popping sound, the jar is properly sealed. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days. Label the sealed jars with the contents and date before storing them in a cool, dark place.

Plenty More Peaches

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