Peaches are delicious eaten fresh out of hand, but they also are wonderful in cooked dishes, both sweet and savory. Before cooking, be sure you know how to properly select and store peaches.
How to Remove Peach Skin
Washing peaches will remove most of the fuzz. Although the fuzzy skin is perfectly edible, it becomes tough when cooked. To remove the peach skin, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute and then immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. The skin should slip off easily. Do not let the peaches soak in the water.
Stop Peach Slices From Browning
The flesh of peaches will darken with exposure to air, so they must be cooked or eaten immediately once cut or further treated. The darkening can be retarded by dipping the cut pieces in an acidic juice of citrus or pineapple, either diluted with water or full strength. For sweet dishes, you might prefer to use pineapple or orange juice as the acid rather than the more tart lemon or lime juice. For savory dishes, lemon or lime is usually the choice.
Ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, and cured meats are all excellent paired with peaches. For a simple, yet elegant dessert, try vanilla bean ice cream topped with sliced peaches and a generous sprinkling of Grand Marnier or orange liqueur.
Cobbler, pie, and Melba are the most well-known dishes using peaches. Peach Melba was created by famed French chef Escoffier in honor of Australian opera singer Nellie Melba. The basic melba recipe consists of a half-peach poached in syrup, topped with vanilla ice cream, and garnished with raspberry purée. This recipe has been adapted to be used with many different fruits. Other popular peach uses include jelly, jam, ice cream, fruit leather, liqueur, and brandy.