How Do You Slice A Very Ripe Peach?

johnliu_gwAugust 23, 2014

When peaches are very ripe, the flesh often smushes under your fingers if you simply make a cut around the fruit's equator and try to separate the halves. The pit holds on to the flesh, and the flesh is too soft to support the pulling.

So suppose you have a mess of very ripe peaches and are assigned to slice them, e.g. for a pie or sangria or other application where the slices have to look good. What is your method?

I confess I just lop off the sides or cheeks and then slice those. This leaves a lot of peach flesh behind and the slices are only partial ones.

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This is what i do:

1. Use a sharp thin blade knife to slice peach. Parallel to equator.

2. When you get to the pit, slice around the pit until you are near the center of the pit.

3. Use the tip of the knife to undercut around the pit a little. (for clingstone peaches)

4. Then use a hemostat (cheap on ebay) to clamp on the pit and twist.

Sounds complicated, but it is not. I wish I have the time to make a video.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:51PM
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I have a handy little single use gadget called a "peach pitter", I got it at Williams Sonoma for $2 on clearance. It has a wooden handle and a sharp pointed end that looks like the bowl of a narrow spoon.

Cut the peach in half and pull it apart. You'll have to eat the pieces where your fingers dug in, sorry. Then use the pitter to remove the pit and slice that half and the majority of the first half, minus fingerprints. It actually works pretty darned well, was cheap and doesn't take up much room. It's also saves my fingers from the pits when I'm canning or freezing big amounts of peaches.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I use a very thin, very narrow, slightly flexible, curved, serrated blade ("tomato knife"), and first take out a sliver while cupping the peach in my other hand so it doesn't squish. With the thin blade, it's not hard to kind of twist and separate the sliver from the pit. Then I make my vertical cuts all around. After they slices are cut, I use the thin blade to get in, starting at the missing sliver, and cut just next to the pit, if I can, to get the hard bits. The slices fall away. If they're loose on the stone, but have hard bits, I lay them on the cutting board on their sides (fleshy part) and do my best not to mangle them as I cut the inner band away. It's still a disgusting mess, but it does end in actual slice shaped slices. :) Food service gloves help.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:38PM
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I slice slices top to bottom all around the peach with a nice sharp paring knife.. Then use the side of the knife to ease out the first couple of slices. Often the slices will come off fine at this point just wiggling each slice to the side because there is less contact with the pit for a slice than a whole half. If necessary the knife can be used to cut each slice away from the pit.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:53PM
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I do what cloud swift does. But dcarch's method of cutting on the "equator" stunned me. I never, ever thought of cutting a peach that way. I always cut from pole to pole, that is, from the stem end to the, um, other end. I will have to try cutting on the equator and see whether it makes a difference.

John, if I understand you correctly about the "cheeks," that's how I cut apples when I haven't cored them. I cut the first slice off a side (avoiding the core area), and then proceed to cut several other sides. Some are round, and others are more rectangular. Then I take each piece and cut thin slices from it. When I'm done, most of the pieces look "slice-like," and if some don't, who cares! They still taste good.

Come to think of it, this method might work for clingstone peaches, too. I'll have to try it.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 9:45PM
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First I get a bowl. :)

What usually works for me is to use a thin paring knife and cut the peach one slice/hunk at a time. I make a cut along the "seam" from the stem end to the bottom. I then cut out a neat piece by making a second cut the same (stem end to bottom). The first piece is the most difficult to remove without smushing it, but it can usually be done by using the knife to wiggle the piece away from the pit. Remaining pieces slice off easily.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:25PM
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