Don't Bother Peeling Peaches For Your Pies

The arrival of peaches at farmers markets and on supermarket shelves is like the siren song of summer. Enveloped in a fuzzy outer skin, the sweet, juicy fruit is an indulgence for your taste buds, but the perfect peach also sports an aesthetic interior reminiscent of a summer sunset.

Peaches make for a solid snack all on their own, but they also basically beg to be baked into easy peach crisps or to be used in peach cobbler recipes. Also playing well with savory foods, peaches pair perfectly with cheeses to create a fantastic stone fruit flatbread or with chicken for a slow cooker stew.

While chowing down on the fuzzy fruit can feel decadent, the truth is that peaches actually pack a punch of powerful nutrients. According to the Cleveland Clinic, peaches are full of polyphenols and prebiotics that can contribute to lowered risks of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. Healthline, meanwhile, also notes that the summery sweet has an abundance of antioxidants that are known for potentially helping with signs of aging and a decrease in risk of various diseases.

The one hindrance to hopping on the peach bandwagon, for some, though, is the tedious task of peeling. While other fruits and vegetables can be plunged into a pot, or allowed to simmer in a slow cooker, with their skins on (think: smashed potatoes) there are some that necessitate pulling out the peeler. But is it actually important to peel your peaches before baking?

Do you have to peel peaches?

While it's absolutely acceptable (and expected) that you wouldn't peel peaches for recipes like a summer peach cheese toast or a salad with grilled peaches, there seems to be a gray area when it comes to peeling peaches for a baked preparation. However, Eat Like No One Else subscribes to a no-peel philosophy, humorously (but also rightfully) noting that leaving the skins on peaches retains a large level of the fruit's nutrients, making your baked goods a healthier indulgence.

The aptly named Unpeeled Journal agrees that not peeling peaches is the best approach to pies and other peachy baked goods in order to achieve greater flavor and richer color. Unpeeled Journal also mentions that peaches are unlike other fruits with more hearty skin ⁠— instead of remaining solid and potentially tough, the skins of peaches are more likely to break down during baking.

If that's not enough endorsement for leaving the peeler in the drawer, Southern Living says, in its opinion, cooks who believe peaches must first be peeled before using them is a common misconception, one people should correct to save themselves time and any hesitation in taking on a peach recipe. As for baking, the site's also in favor of skin-on peaches, stating that leaving the peach peels intact will actually add to the texture of your final baked dish.

So, put down that peeler and get to work on making easier versions of a summer peach pie, a peach cobbler with blackberries, or a peach crisp. Need some inspiration? Get yourself an entire peach-centric cookbook to work through all summer.