Have you wondered whether or not peaches should go in the fridge at all? We got the answer for you along with tips on how to store unripe peaches and a simple recipes for a peach frozen dessert called granita.
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In case you are just tuning in, welcome to our Person Peach Series. This summer I am receiving 7 boxes of peaches from Pearson Farm near Fort Valley, Georgia. Each box will contain a different variety of Prince peaches. It’s a fantastic way to experience the different flavors, textures, and colors of the peach.
August is here.
The swan song for peaches is upon us.
It's always sad to see the season go. Now is the time if you are going to preserve peaches via canning or freezing that you better pencil in some time to do so. Soon peaches will be gone - on the bright side there will be plenty of apples!
Is keeping peaches in the fridge one way to preserve them longer or that somethign you need to avoid?
❄️ Do You Refrigerate Peaches?
FYI - Peaches will ripen faster on the counter than in the fridge. The fridge slows the ripening process to a stand still.
I always roll my eyes when I go to a grocery store and I find they have fresh peaches that are being refrigerated on the sales floor.
No. No. NO!!!
Peaches do not belong in the fridge unless they are so far along in the ripening process they about to go overripe. Never ever put a peach that is not ripe in the fridge. This will lower the quality of the fruit and gave it an off taste. Plus it won't ripen that way, you want a ripe peach, right?
One of the main problems with grocery store peaches it that they spend too much time being kept cold. They are picked (usually too green) and then stored in the cold until they go onto a truck to a distributor center. Usually the truck is refrigerated. They wait at the distribution center until they head off to a store while on a refrigerated truck. They then go to the cooler at the store until ready to be placed on display.
I have worked in the retail produce industry. Boxes of peaches that come in, list the day they were packed. Sometimes it can be 2-3 weeks afterward and I can bet most of that time was spend under refrigeration.
Pearson Farm Fact - Even when peach season is over Pearson Farm has got plenty of good still to sell. They are known for their high quality pecans just as well as for peaches. Pearson has been growing them for over 130 years. Head on over to their website for a wonderful section of pecan products from chocolate covered pecans to to their signature bag of in-shell pecans.
❓How to Store Peaches
The best way to store peaches is to keep them at room temperature, especially when they are not ripe yet. The same is true for nectarines. You can keep them out on the counter but I like to keep them in a dark place. I have drawers in my kitchen shelving dedicated to fruit. Whatever you do, keep them out of direct sunlight. Especially on a hot summer day those spots can be too hot for the fruit.
Once they become ripe you can leave them at out for maybe a day or two but keep on eye on them. I only put peaches in the fridge when I want to get a little more time out of them and I eat them all now. At this point you only have a few days of life out of them before they start to get wrinkly and taste off.
Always bring a ripe peach to room temperature before eating. The cold of the fridge tends to mute the best flavor of the fruit. And never wash a peach until you are going to use it. You don't want to overhandle the fruit or put the fruit away wet.
💡 Tip on Bags - Always remove peaches from the plastic bag you may have brought them from the store in. Plastic bag will hold moisture against the fruit causing it to get moldy or rot. A brown paper bag is perfectly ok, in fact they will help the fruit ripen faster as it traps in the fruit's natural ethylene gas that will speed up ripening. If you shop at a store that uses paper bags make sure you save them for this purpose.
📅 How Long Do They Last on the Counter?
How long do peaches last at room temperature? It depends on how ripe they are. If the peaches feel hard or have any green on them I would say you have a week including time the peach is ripe before you must eat or refrigerate. If they are still to feel a little soft but still aren't yielding to pressure, you probably have 5 days.
This will all depend on how warm your kitchen is and if the fruit is near any other fruit. If you store them near ripe bananas they will ripen quicker because of all the ethylene gas bananas give off.
👑 August Prince Peach Review
In my 6th peach box from Pearson Farm they send me the August Prince peach. The variety is the newest addition to the Prince peach series. It was only released in 2006.
I actually didn't like the August Prince as much as the Early August Prince (the peach I reviewed last week). That is not to say that it wasn't a good peach because it certainly was. The flavor was balanced well between the sweet and the tart. The pit was easy to pop out of the peach.
The peach was a firm peach. It didn't turn mealy even as it softened up. No one likes a mealy peach. Speaking of...
⛑️ How to Salvage Mealy Peaches
If you do end up with mealy peaches either because they were not very fresh or had spend too much in the cold, you can still save them. While eating them is no longer ideal, you can use them for cooking. Applesauce is the first thing to come mind. You won't notice the peaches are mealy in a peach flavored applesauce.
Don't make a peach cobbler or a peach pie with unripe peaches. The fruit may still get soft when cooked but the pie won't have any peach flavor.
🍧 Peach Iced Granita
Our single peach recipe for the week is for a peach granita.
What is a granita, you ask? It is the simple combination of fruit, sugar, and water. It's kind of a more sophisticated slushy.
To make a granita you combine your pureed fruit or fruit sugar, with equal parts water and sugar. You place in the freezer and then every 30-45 minutes, you scrape the whole thing with a fork. The goal is to create as small of ice crystals as you can. If you don't scrape it you end up with one big blob of fruit flavored ice that will taste like such.
What I love about granitas is that they are easy to make than ice cream or sorbet. You don't neeed an special equipment and you can turn out a batch pretty quickly.
Since you don't eat up the fruit in the process you end up with a fresh tasty product.
Granitas are best eaten the day they are made. So only make the morning or afternoon if you are having it for dessert that night. I also recommend making it in a metal pan as metal will help the liquid freeze faster than glass would.
The peach granita recipe below makes 1 good sized serving or 2 smaller kid servings. Got more peaches? Just add another ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of sugar per peach.
For real treat, get yourself a bowl of good vanilla ice cream and top it off with the granita. It's my take on the classic Cream Slush from Sonic - that they got rid of 🙁
- 1 peach pitted removed
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- Puree the peach in a food processor until smooth.
- Add the water and sugar, mix to combine.
- Put the mixture into a small, shallow metal container. Place in the freezer.
- Every 30-45 minutes scrap the mixture with a fork until it is completely frozen.