With peach season in full swing, I can’t help but hoard each deletable gem in sight. As I’ve slowly crafted a small mountain of peaches on my kitchen counter, I’ve found myself experimenting with a multitude of summer recipes, inspired by the different nuances and flavors of each peach variety. Everything from peach panzanella salad to creamy peach sorbet and flaky peach turnovers—ideas continuously flow from my mind, into my hands, and finally my tastebuds. Then, of course, sharing these creations with friends and my Frog Hollow Farm family, and seeing smiles on their faces brings me even more joy, a craving to continue creating, initiating an endless cycle of peach deliciousness.
Whether I’m making a 5 step, straightforward recipe or complex main dish, I’ve learned that the key to success in the kitchen is to start out with the best ripe peaches (from Frog Hollow Farm, of course!) and the best slicing technique!
Freestone vs. Clingstone Peaches
Have you ever cut a peach lengthwise along the pit, twisted it in half, only for the juice to get everywhere and flesh barely budged? This is because of the way the flesh clings to the pit—that’s why peaches are categorized into either freestone or clingstone!
Freestone—The flesh of a freestone peach easily comes away from the pit when the peach is pulled or twisted open.
Clingstone—The flesh of a clingstone peach stays well-attached to the pit, not easily pulling away when pulled or twisted open.
If you’re like me, you may have noticed that there isn’t a distinct way to tell if a peach is freestone or clingstone before cutting it open. I’ve had my fair share of peach disasters and I’ve finally mastered a foolproof cutting technique that works every time for both freestone and clingstone peaches. Here’s what I do!
Step 1: With your non-dominant hand, hold the peach against a cutting board, making sure that the top of the peach is perpendicular to the cutting board. With a sharp chef’s knife or paring knife, cut from the top of the peach down, along the side of the pit.
Step 2: Repeat for the opposite side of the peach, then cut along the side of the pit for the remaining flesh. You should get 2 large halves and 2 smaller sections.
Step 3: Now we can cut the peach either into wedges or a dice!
For wedges: with your non-dominant hand, firmly hold peach half against the cutting board, and gently cut across from the upper to the lower side of the half. Repeat for the other half and the 2 smaller sections.
For a dice: with your non-dominant hand, hold the peach half with the flat side against the cutting board, and make thin, uniform vertical slices across.
Rotate the peach half 90 degrees and slice vertically across, making perpendicular lines across the peach half. Repeat for the other half and the 2 smaller sections.
Now, you can enjoy peaches every way imaginable this summer. Wishing you a happy slicing and cooking!