Ready to stock up on peaches? Here's some tips on buying and storing the summer fruit.
— Look for fruit with smooth, unblemished skin (shriveled means it's old) and a golden hue behind the reddish blush. Avoid ones that have a greenish tinge, or have bruises or scratches.
— Take a whiff. A peach that smells like peach will taste like peach.
— A ripe peach will feel heavy for its size and "give" slightly with a gentle squeeze. Rock-hard peaches were picked too early and probably will never ripen properly.
— Store peaches at room temperature on the counter until they're ripe. Then store in the refrigerator crisper bin for up to five days. Placing peaches in a paper bag will speed up the ripening process.
— To easily remove skin, cut a small X through the skin of the bottom of the peach, blanche in boiling water for about 10 seconds, then place in ice water. The skin should slide right off.
— If you have too many peaches to use right away, freeze them. But peel, slice and remove the pit beforehand, and toss the cut fruit in a little lemon juice and sugar to prevent browning. (The Peach Truck recommends the juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for every 8-10 peaches.) Place in a plastic zip-close bag, flatten on a baking sheet or cutting board and place in the freezer, They'll keep for 6-12 months.
— Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette