Blanching is a technique that is used to soften the texture of food to a nice “tender crisp”, set its color, and in some cases make them easier to peel. When blanching, food is submerged in boiling water for just a few seconds and then it’s removed and immediately plunged into very cold ice water. The hot water serves to soften the texture of the fruit or vegetable and the ice-cold water bath not only stops the cooking process but also sets its bright color.
For thin-skinned fruits such as peaches or tomatoes blanching makes it easier to peel their skin off while leaving the inner flesh nice and firm.
To blanch for peeling purposes:
- Cut out the stem and then score (shallowly cut) an “X” in the blossom end of the fruit.
- Plunge the fruit into boiling water for 30-60 seconds or until the skin begins to wrinkle.
- Transfer the fruit to an ice-cold water bath.
- Once the fruit is cooled, remove from the water, and peel away the skin using a small paring knife.