Apricot skin is edible, but peeling and discarding it is preferable if you're making a smooth puree, apricot jam, certain baked goods or if you just don't enjoy eating the skin. Given the soft texture of ripe apricots and how slippery they become as soon as you start to peel them, vegetable peelers and all but the sharpest of paring knives are not up to the task. By using a quick and easy blanching technique, you can slip the skins right off with only your fingers.
Things You'll Need
Tongs or slotted spoon
Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover the apricots. Place the pan on the stove top and bring the water to a boil.
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Slice an "X" at the top and bottom of each apricot and pierce the skin in several places with a sharp knife. Don't cut too deeply -- you only need to cut through the skin.
Fill a bowl with enough cold water to cover the apricots and add one or two handfuls of ice cubes. Prepare the bowl while the water on the stove is coming to a boil.
Turn off the burner when the water on the stove has reached the boiling point. Place the apricots into the pan using tongs or a slotted spoon.
Let the apricots sit in the hot water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You should be able to see the peels coming off the fruits at the points where you cut them with a knife.
Transfer the apricots to the bowl of ice water using tongs or a slotted spoon. Let them sit in the cold water for at least 30 seconds.
Take one apricot at a time out of the ice water and slip the skins off using your fingers. They should come off very easily.
- If any stubborn pieces of peel stay stuck to the apricots after using this technique, carefully scrape them away with a sharp knife.
- Save time by boiling water in an electric kettle and pouring it into a bowl.
- Use the same blanching technique to peel tomatoes and other stone fruits, such as peaches and plums.
- Don't worry that the hot water will cook the apricots. The brief time that the apricots are in the water is only enough to soften the fruit immediately underneath the skin.