The Best Techniques For Peeling and Pitting Stone Fruit

Even the best of us are guilty of making a few rough cuts now and then. Even for how much we love stone fruit, we find ourselves getting frustrated every time we’re a little too heavy handed and end up damaging the delicate fruit. As a result, we’ve scoured the culinary high seas to find a couple techniques that ensure your stone fruits look as beautiful as they taste.

Peeling

While almost all stone fruit has edible skin (we’re looking at you avocado), there are times when you’ll want to shave off the peel. Follow these tips to cut as smoothly as possible.

  • First off, make sure you select the correct knife. For best results, we’d recommend a stainless steel paring knife.
  • Grab your stone fruit of choice and slice a small x at the base. Be sure to make a shallow cut so you don’t damage the inside of the fruit.
  • Next, quickly blanch the fruit by submerging it in boiling water and then an ice water bath. It’s important to note that the time spent in boiling water will change the texture of your fruit. Anything longer than 45 seconds will cause it to loose its original texture.
  • From here, you should be able tear off the peel by hand! Gently pull back the skin along the x and voila!Note: This technique works best with firmer stone fruit like peaches or nectarines.
     

Pitting

Perfectly pitting a stone fruit can be a test of patience for any chef. Unlike peeling, pitting is an essential step towards enjoying nature’s delicious bounty. Follow along as we explore both universal and specialized techniques to pitting stone fruit.

  • As with peeling, the wrong knife can make or break the pitting process. Generally, a pairing knife will be able to get the job done, but chefs who want to extend the life of their tools should reach for a serrated knife! By using a serrated knife, you won’t have to worry about dulling your gear if you make rough contact with the pit itself.
  • Firmer stone fruits like peaches will give you the least amount of trouble when it comes to pitting. For best results, start at the stem and cut around the entirety of the fruit. From here, you should be able to twist the fruit into two different segments. Carefully stick your knife between the pit and the fruit and push to remove the pit.
    • Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble removing the pit, cut off a few slices from either side and try again. This is an essential step for more delicate fruits like plums!
  • While this technique will work for most stone fruits, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort to avoid damage if you’re working with a mango. Visit “Quick Cuts” for a rundown of our favorite pitting technique.