How to peel peaches for canning: the correct way

Cut them and remove the skin, right? You mean it’s not that simple? If you want the best taste, texture, and flavor, then no. When it comes to canning peaches, or any fruit for that matter, it requires a little bit of fine tuning. And one of those areas you’re going to want to take time in doing things right is in peeling the peaches for canning. So, how do you go about removing skins and peeling peaches to can them? Consider these steps in our guide on how to peel peaches for canning to make your life easier, and to ensure the best texture/consistency, when you’re ready to consume them.

Remove the Skin

Obviously you have to do this. But, before you can the peaches, you’re going to want to take the proper steps in removing the skin. The reason being is that skins cause the peaches to become overly chewy in texture and consistency. Especially with canning, you’ll notice that the peaches are very slimy if you leave the skins on, and then remove them when you’re ready to consume them.

How do you remove the skin? Well, you can use a knife or peeler. However, the easiest and best approach seems to be in blanching the peaches to make the skins soft enough for removal.

The Blanching Process

To blanch the peaches you’re going to need

  • A pot to boil water
  • A slotted spoon to remove the peaches
  • A bowl to place the warm peaches in after blanching
  • Cold ice water bucket
  • A bowl with acidified water (this is for the peeled peaches to sit in and helps prevent browning)

Okay, now that you have your ingredients (well the peaches) and the kitchen tools you’re going to need, you’re ready to get started with the blanching process.

Boiling and Blanching Peaches

You’re first going to bring your pot of water to a slow, simmering boil. You’ll take six to eight peaches and place them in the boiling water, depending on the size of your pot. It’s also worth mentioning you’re going to want to remove the debris from the peaches you’re boiling. You don’t really have to clean them that well, as boiling them is going to remove impurities, but it might be worth taking off sediments, debris, and other loose dirt that’s sitting on the skin of the peaches.

Keep the peaches in the boiling hot water bath for about one minute, and immediately remove them with your slotted spoon, and place them in the cold, ice water bath. This shock in temperature is what will help the skin of the peaches become soft enough and make the blanching process easier to remove the skins. After the ice bath, take your peaches and directly place them in the bowl with acidified water. This is where you’re going to blanch the peaches, or remove their skin.

At this point, the skins should be so soft that they’re falling apart in your hands. You’ll want to make sure you move through the blanching process quickly. This ensures the peaches are similar in firmness/texture, and that none of them are sitting in the water bath for too long. If you still have more peaches to remove the skins from, follow this same process. You can leave the blanched peaches sitting in a bowl or on a wire rack to let them dry while waiting to boil and blanch the remaining peaches.

Make Sure You Pay Attention to Time

The blanching process (or boiling) is a short one. If you allow the peaches to sit in a hot bath of boiling water for too long, you run the risk that they’ll

  • Become too soft
  • Turn into mush
  • Won’t have an even/consistent texture depending on the size variations of the peaches you’re blanching

Consistency is key. Not only in texture and firmness, but also in the process of removing the skins from the peaches. It’s also important to ensure you don’t allow the skinned peaches to sit in the bath of acidified water for too long. One to two minutes should be enough with each batch that you are blanching to remove the skins from. The acidified water is going to help prevent browning when you do can the peaches. However, if you allow the peaches to sit in that water bath for too long, you run the risk of allowing the acid in the water, to creating peaches which are overly soft in texture. If you have plenty of peaches to blanch, it’s best that you work with a team to ensure each step of the process goes seamlessly, and that nothing remains sitting in any specific area for too long. You can utilize the help of your kids or spouse in the home, and each individual can take on a specific duty in the blanching process.

Prepare for Canning

Now that your peaches are blanched and the skins are removed, they’re ready to be placed in the cans, right? Not necessarily. Allow the peaches to sit on a wire rack or on the cabinet for some time. Allow them to make their way back up to room temperature. Remember, you placed them in an ice bath and cold acidic water, so they are going to be colder than room temperature at this time. Once the peaches are at room temperature, you can safely can them (obviously, the cans and jar lids should be sterilized).

You’ll take the same precautions as you would with canning any other fruit, vegetable, or food. When placing the peaches in the can, make sure you leave sufficient headspace for the canning jars to seal and pop. If you’re placing the peaches in the cans whole, you might want to include a sugar brine, to help preserve them. Before sealing the can, make sure you remove all air bubbles so that the can and jar lid will properly seal and pop.

Again, there’s more than one approach you can take to removing the skins for peaches you’re going to can. Blanching is quick, easy, and results in the same consistency and texture each time, which makes it a superior approach to cutting with a knife or other methods you can utilize.

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