Argh! Mealy Peaches!

petra_gwJuly 25, 2014

We bought 2 boxes of white peaches (36 pounds) from a wholesale market and they turned out to be rock hard when we got them home.

Haven't had good luck ripening peaches in paper bags and read you can ripen them in linen or thin cotton towels, which is what I did. Some of them are ripe now, but though the taste is really sweet and good, they are not very juicy and also sort of mealy, very, very disappointing!

I don't think we can stand to eat many more of them fresh, so I am wondering what to do with them. Even though they are not very juicy, would they work for pies or maybe frozen for smoothies? Any ideas would be much appreciated!

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cherig22

They sell peaches under ripe, and all you have to do is set them on a thin towel and let the ripen by smell, and taste. I do not buy peaches until sometime in September here in Missouri, and they come from the north east.

Where did you get them from? Sounds like you might have bought them too early, but I cannot tell where they are from.

I was so disappointed last year, thought they were hard, tasteless waste of times until I let them ripen on the table with the towel. They were so good once they ripened that we gorged, lol.

Cheri

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:40PM
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petra_gw

Cherig, that's what I did, towel ripening and some of them are indeed ripe, but not juicy and also mealy. They are organic white peaches from CA. I have bought white peaches as well as yellow off and on since June and they were all delicious, juicy and tasty, I might try making some preserves and cobblers with the duds, don't want to waste them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:49PM
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plllog

PIE!!! They're sweet and tasty, right? Just hard? I don't think I have any enticing pictures to show you, but that's what I did at start of season (in SoCal). In my experience, when the white peaches are hard, they never get any riper.

Whether or not they'd work in a smoothy depends on how squished you can get them. Maybe a VitaMix would do it.

For pie, I just make my mother's apple pie, and pretend the peaches are apples (and it might apply to smoothies too--handle them like apples). Peel and slice the peaches thin, put them in a container overnight in the fridge with spices and tapioca, and a small handful of sugar. Bake in the morning in as a double crust pie. The slices are still firm, which is why thin slices are important.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:02PM
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petra_gw

plllog, they are indeed sweet and tasty and not hard any more. The towel trick softened them to where they have the consistency of a ripe peach, but not the juiciness and lovely texture. Do you think they would still work for pie?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:26PM
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plllog

Oh! I thought you meant ripe sweetness, but still hard. In general, I think anything is good for pie. Cooking should still help the mealiness, but since they won't have either crispness or that peachy spring, it might be better to add some juice. Just give some peaches a whirr in the FP (you can start from slices or chunks, but it takes longer), and cook them down with some simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) or some sweet fruit juice like apple or white grape, until you have a nice, thick syrup. Unless you like very sweet pies, you can then use that instead of sugar. Don't overnight soft sliced peaches in syrup, though, or it'll be hard to tell where one stops and the other starts, and do add a little tapioca or similar to the pie to firm it up.

I haven't done anything like this for 25 years, though, so do make a test pie first to make sure you're happy with the outcome, and adjust from there. Actually, a test mini pie would work fine. :) Or a pot pie in a custard cup or ramekin. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:37AM
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ci_lantro

I would try adding some juice to the peaches--peach nectar perhaps? Even just some Simple Syrup (as if you were going to freeze them) and they should work in pies/ cobblers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:30AM
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ritaweeda

I wonder if they would make a decent jam?? Or pickled??

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:54AM
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petra_gw

Plllog, they were hard a few days ago, maybe I should have processed them then, but I thought they would ripen okay. Am going to have to do something with them today, they all seem to be ripe now. So pie or crumble this afternoon, fingers crossed they turn out okay.

CIlantro and Rita,am going to try the simple syrup and jam as well, I still have some pectin. There are certainly enough peaches for everything, grrrr.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:47AM
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plllog

Well, of course you did! Think they'd be okay. It makes sense, doesn't it? And they haven't gone bad or anything. Once you've gotten to the other side of processing the two cases of peaches, you'll be glad you have them.

Good luck with your endeavors!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:39PM
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ci_lantro

After thinking about it, you might try whizzing two or three peaches along with some water in a blender or Vita-mix for liquid for pies/ cobblers.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 12:33AM
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grainlady_ks

Over-ripe or imperfect fruit is great used for making fruit leather in the dehydrator. I freeze them in vacuum-sealed bags and use them all winter. They make the base for fruit sauce (just cut the fruit leather into strips and add to water and heat gently until it melts - and use your imagination after that - thicken if necessary, spice it up, add fruit.....). Great if using frozen, dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit for some additional flavor.

--You can add fruit leather OR sauce made from fruit leather to cooked cereal.

--I make applesauce with apples I dehydrate at home, and for a different "flavor" I'll add some kind of fruit leather - that's how I get blueberry applesauce, peach applesauce, pear applesauce, strawberry applesauce......

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to make fruit leather.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:58AM
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annie1992

Petra, I know just what you mean, they taste good but are kind of dry and almost porous?

I've gotten them before, I use them for jam or for pies and cobblers, by the time they cook the odd texture is usually unnoticeable and the flavor is there anyway.

Dad used to love it, because it meant I made peach syrup for his pancakes, that all got blended up until smooth, then small chunks added back in for texture.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 12:26PM
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petra_gw

Cilantro, I turned them into a cobbler and found a recipe for no-pectin jam when I realized I didn't have pectin after all. They had to macerate with sugar over night and I made the jam this morning. Added vanilla beans and it turned out absolutely delicious (and made the house smell wonderful), so plllog is very right about my being glad to have bought them after all.

Grainlady, after reading that, I wish we had a dehydrator! Might have to talk hubby into one.

Annie, that's exactly what I meant! :o) I bet being picked before ripe and then being cooled on the trip here caused the weird texture. I think buying local might help prevent this. I picked several hard peaches off our trees in June cause the birds pecked huge holes into most of them before they were even ripe. They ripened just fine on the countertop and tasted delicious and juicy. So it must be the cooling while shipping that is causing the weird texture.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:49PM
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annie1992

Petra, the jam sounds delicious and how could peach cobbler possibly be bad?

I'm glad they cooked up well, what a disappointment that would be otherwise.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:24PM
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petra_gw

I agree, Annie.Haven't had bad cobbler yet. And am also glad the peaches worked out after all, but I am going to be very cautious with cases of fruit from now on. :o)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:35PM
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plllog

Petra, congrats on making such a good jam! And the cobbler, of course.

I have to say that the subject of hard peaches came up here, and everyone agreed that they don't actually get riper. They get softer, but not riper. I know it's not nice for the next folks, but I always squeeze (lightly) and smell the peaches. If they're not both yielding and fragrant, I leave them behind. Even close to where they're grown, they're bringing us hard peaches nowadays. Then they charge more for "hand picked tree ripened" but they're worth it.

Good luck with the next ones...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:06PM
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petra_gw

plllog, I totally agree. There are few things as delicious as a ripe, juicy peach right off the tree and I really hope the naughty birds will leave a bunch for us next year. :o)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:38PM
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