peach collage

Peaches—Tips, Tricks, My Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler

And just like that, it’s peach season. That’s a big deal where I live in northern Colorado in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. We love peaches and enjoy Peach Street Fairs, Palisade Peach Festivals; peach fruit piled high in every store’s produce department and featured on nearly every restaurant’s menu. While they’re in season, fresh peaches are relatively cheap, too.

peach collage

Freestone or cling?

While there are many varieties of peaches, basically there are two types: If a peach is “freestone,” it means the stone falls right off of the flesh when it’s cut. A “clingstone” or cling peach’s flesh will stick to the pit.

Freestones are larger, juicier, sweeter, and more comfortable to work with since the pit pops right out of a ripe peach. Many store-bought yellow and white peaches fall into this category. The most famous freestone peaches are Georgia and Palisade peaches

Clingstone peaches—peaches that are harder to pit because the pit firmly adheres to the flesh—are mostly used for canning.

Fresh peaches are abundantly available throughout North America starting in late July through September.

Is it ripe?

Peaches are “climacteric fruit.” That means that peaches will ripen (get softer and sweeter) after they are harvested. Other fruits, for example, grapes, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries are “non-climacteric fruit”; once harvested, they never ripen further.

The only way to know for sure if a peach is fully matured is by delicately feeling it to test for ripeness. Very gently, hold a peach between your thumb and middle finger and press very lightly at the stem end of the peach. Be careful not to squeeze the peach as it will bruise easily. One delicate squeeze is all that is needed. If the fruit indents slightly, the peach is fully ripe and ready to eat!

Speed things up

If you want to speed things up with a peach that’s not quite perfectly ripe, pop it in a paper bag and close it. The bag will capture the ethylene gas the fruit gives off, which hastens the ripening process. Want to speed things up even more and ripen peaches even faster? Add a banana to the bag for even more ethylene action.

Good for you

Peaches are an excellent source of vitamin A and dietary fiber, according to the popular website, Healthline. Peaches are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Peaches may even lower risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

How to store

  • On the kitchen counter unripe: 1 to 3 days or until ripe
  • In the refrigerator once ripe: 3 to 5 days
  • In the freezer or canned: Up to 1 year

 

READ: 6 Gifts of Summer to Make for Christmas

Peel a peach

Set a big pot of water on the stove over high heat. While you’re waiting for it to come to a boil, fill the sink or large bowl with ice water, so it’s ready to go.

With a sharp knife, cut an X in the bottom of each peach. Drop the peaches into the boiling water and count to 30. That’s it, just 30 seconds. Carefully remove them from the boiling water and immediately drop them into the ice water. Watch what happens. The skins will split open and nearly fall off all by themselves. It’s quite fun to watch and oh, what a time saver.

How to pit a peach

Removing the peach pit (seed) is a no-brainer, especially if you have a freestone variety peach. Using a paring knife, pierce the peach where the stem was attached, slicing it along the seam all the way around the fruit. Your knife will naturally hit the pit and it will become your guide for stabilizing the cut. Place each half of the peach in either hand. Twist the halves in opposite directions. Pull the halves apart to reveal the pit. Pull the pit away from the flesh with your fingers.

Grilled peaches

Peaches take to the grill like fish to water. Dip a peeled and pitted fresh peach half into brown sugar and set it on the grill, cut side down. Allow it to remain there long enough to show grill marks. That’s it!  The quick cooking over live flames brings out peaches’ natural juiciness and intensifies their deep summer sweetness—perfect for an arugula salad or served with ice cream for dessert.

Peach  Cobbler

It’s hard to hate, that’s for sure! Served warm with a dollop of ice cream, homemade peach cobbler is such a great comfort food. My grandmother, Mamie Schwartz, the most beautiful and humble woman I have ever known, could have taught even Martha Stewart a thing or two, including how to make the peach cobbler.  Recipe below.

Peach freezer jam

Any kind of freezer jam is fabulous, but when it’s peach jam? Be still my heart! It’s that good.

Basically, start with fresh peaches, add sugar, a touch of lemon juice, and pectin. Load it into jars or containers of your choice and … freeze it! No canning, water-bath processing required. Results are amazing. Recipe below.

A plate of food on a table, with Cobbler and Peach

My Grandmother's Peach Cobbler

This is my grandmother's homemade peach cobbler recipe, handed down to her by my great-grandmother. It's made with fresh peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course, butter. It tastes great on its own, but even better with vanilla ice cream, a la mode.
4 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 325kcal
Cost: varies

Ingredients

For Cobbler

  • 8 med fresh peaches (or 6 large), peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, divided firmly packed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (NOTE 2)
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup boiling water

For Topping

  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Peel, pit, and slice the fresh peaches into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; the nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss gently until the peaches are evenly coated. Pour into an 8 x 8 greased baking dish.
  • Bake in 425 F oven for 10 minutes.
  • While the peaches are baking, in a large bowl combine the flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter with your fingers, a pastry blender, or a fork and continue until mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir in the cup of boiling water until just combined.
  • Remove the peaches from the oven. Pour or spoon the batter over the top.
  • Mix together 3 tablespoons white sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over the entire cobbler.
  • Return to the 425 F oven and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown on top and the peaches are bubbling.

Notes

Note 1: The recipe calls for 8 peaches, but if they are large you'll have a hard time fitting everything into an 8" x 8" baking dish. In that case, you may want to cut it back to 6 peaches.
Note 2: If you use salted butter in place of unsalted butter, consider reducing the amount of salt in the recipe to 1/4 tsp, or just leave the salt out depending on your taste.
Note 3: Here are two ways to peel fresh peaches.
1) Cut an "X" in the bottom of each peach. Then drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove quickly and plunge them into ice water. The skins will fairly slip off. 
2) Use a soft-skin peeler like this Norpro. With it, I can peel even the ripest peaches in less time than it takes to get a pot of water boiling. This peeler is so efficient and so easy to use, it doesn't remove any of the fruit. Super fast
Note 4: Serve with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream. Oh, my!
Note 5: The season is short. Enjoy Peach Cobbler now!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 859IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!
peach jam

Peach Freezer Jam

When they're in season, peaches are plentiful and relatively cheap,too. But the season is short. What to do with all those ripe peaches? Make jam ... freezer jam! So easy.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
45 minutes
Servings: 64 tbsp
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Mary Hunt
Cost: varies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh, fully ripe peaches about 2 lbs
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1.75 oz box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin

Instructions

  • Three or four 8-oz. glass jars with lids or plastic containers with lids. Make sure they are clean and dry. Set aside.
  • Peel, pit and coarsely chop the peaches
  • Place the peaches in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you reach a chunky puree. (Don't have a food processor? Use a potato masher to mash them up in a large bowl.) You need exactly 3 cups of puree.
  • Pour the puree into in a large bowl. Add the sugar, gradually, stirring until dissolved.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. Allow sitting until the sugar is no longer grainy, fully dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, add the pectin and water to a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, while stirring. Remove from heat.
  • Add pectin mixture to peaches. Stir for about 3 mins. The mixture will thicken slightly.
  • Spoon the jam into clean jars or other containers,with tight-fitting lids, making sure you leave about 1/2-inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.
  • Allow the jars to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or longer to set. Store the jam in the refrigerator or the freezer. The jam will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.

Notes

NOTE: If while sitting and prior to freezing, the jam seems to separate, re-stir and keep stirring until combined. This may happen if the sugar and pectin are not completely dissolved.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!
peach raspberry homemade jam in hands of woman

Blushing Peach Jam

A decadent blend of peaches and raspberries with just a hint of almond ... oh my! This is the jam you will want in the middle of winter. So easy to make and preserve so that you can enjoy it many, many months from now. Or ... Holiday Gifts!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 64
Calories: 89kcal
Cost: Varies

Equipment

  • Stock pot or canner

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peaches peeled, pitted, and crushed
  • 2 cups red raspberries crushed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 6-oz. liquid fruit pectin
  • few drops almond extract

Instructions

  • Sterilze jars and lids in boiling water or dishwasher on hottest "sterlize" setting.
  • In the meantime, to the peaches add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Let stand while preparing raspberries.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the raspberries.
  • Combine peaches and raspberries with sugar in a heavy saucepan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and add pectin. Stir and skim; add a few drops of almond extract.
  • Pour into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  • Process in boiling bath for 10 minutes. Yield: 4 half-pint jars jam.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tblspn | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!

First published: 8-1-18; Updated 9-8-21

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6 replies
  1. Sheri B. says:

    5 stars
    Why does there have to be so much sugar? What does the sugar do other then sweeten up the jam?
    I have a small freezer so I am going to cut it down to 1

    Reply
  2. Linda D Radosevich says:

    My grandma used Utah peaches (probably just as good as Colorado) to make peach pie and peach cobbler, and always included a peach pit ‘for flavor’. She also put up pickled peaches, that we ate with Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys – peaches studded with cloves. Best use for peaches: eat them out of hand!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Bru says:

    I know it’s not ideal but what if we want to use canned peaches? I have two jars of peaches that my neighbor canned (tall masons) and I’ve been looking for a recipe to use them in. Could I use them successfully in this cobbler recipe? What would I need to change in order to do so?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      I would drain them first … pour into the prepared baking dish, then skip the 10 mins in the oven. Proceed with the batter and sugar-cinnamon topping. Then bake as directed. If you try this, let us know how it turned out! It it’s great, I’ll add that option to the recipe!

      Reply
  4. Sandy says:

    Colorado peaches arrive here in Minnesota in early August. None have been available for at least a week, would have tried recipes if you shared earlier than this. We are a case of the goodies!

    Reply

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