Got ahold of summer’s quintessential fruit? Here’s how to ripen peaches and how to tell if a peach is ripe.
What’s better than a ripe, juicy peach? Peaches are one of the most iconic summer fruits, ideal for snacking or baking into desserts. But here’s the thing: this fruit is one of the most notoriously temperamental! They’re only good when they’re in season and perfectly ripe: otherwise they’re hard, tart and crisp (which works for an apple but certainly not a peach). Here’s how to ripen peaches so you can use them in all your juicy peach recipes.
How to tell if a peach is ripe
There’s a lot of variation in ripeness of peaches when you shop for them. You might find them rock hard at the grocery store, or so juicy they’re almost bruising from a farmer’s market. Keep in mind, peaches are best during peach season, which is summer in the US (and varies globally). Depending on where you live, you might find ripe peaches as early as June and as late as September (here in the Midwest it’s typically July and August).
How to tell if a peach is ripe? Here’s what to do:
- Gently squeeze the peach. Don’t squeeze too hard: it can bruise the fruit.
- If the flesh feels tender and soft, it’s ready to eat.
- If the flesh is firm, it’s not ready yet. Keep reading for how to ripen peaches.
How to ripen peaches
If you start with very hard peaches, you’ll need several days to ripen them (especially if you’ve purchased them slightly out of season). If the peach feels like it’s almost ripe, you can place it on the counter or a window ledge and wait for it to ripen. Here’s how to quickly ripen peaches that feel very firm to the touch:
- Place the peaches in a paper bag. Leave space between each peach.
- Add a banana inside the bag. The banana emits ethylene gas, which helps the peaches ripen quicker.
- Gently fold over the top of the bag. This traps the gasses inside.
- Wait for 1 to 4 days, checking the ripeness each day. The time to ripen depends on the type of peach and how ripe it was when you purchased it.
Ways to use ripe peaches
- Crisp: Bake it into a classic Peach Crisp with a golden crumble topping, topped with melty vanilla ice cream.
- Pie or Galette: A summer tradition! This Fresh Peach Pie is a family favorite with a gooey, cream filling inside a homemade pastry crust. Or try this stunning freeform Peach Galette!
- Cobbler: What’s better than a classic Peach Cobbler with a crumbly biscuit topping and gooey, sweet fruit?
- Salad: This Fresh Peach Salad adds ripe peaches to salad greens, mixed with goat cheese, toasted almonds, corn, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Salsa: This sweet fruit is the ideal stand-in for tomatoes in a classic Peach Salsa.
- Sorbet or Ice Cream: Make tasty frozen desserts: Peach Sorbet or Peach Ice Cream.
- Juice: Try fresh Peach Juice.
- Compote: Cook up ripe peaches into a Peach Compote.
- Cocktails: Make the classic Bellini with peach puree, or a fun Peach Mojito by muddling the fresh fruit with mint and adding rum.
- Grilled or roasted: Make Grilled Peaches or Roasted Peaches and top them with ice cream for a quick dessert, or use them in a green salad.
- 1 banana (optional)
- Place the peaches in a paper bag.
Add a banana inside the bag. The banana emits ethylene gas, which helps the peaches ripen at the same time.
- Gently close the top of the bag, trapping the gasses inside.
- Wait for 1 to 4 days, depending on the ripeness of the peaches. Check each day by gently squeezing the fruit to see if the flesh feels soft.
- Category: Tips
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Fruits
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: How to ripen peaches