You can eat peaches whole, but they’re also great for various recipes, including peach preserves and [peach cobbler](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/peach-cobbler-recipe). Follow these steps to cut ripe, juicy peaches:\n\n1. __Peel the peaches (optional)__. If a [recipe](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/peach-recipes-guide) calls for peeled peaches, it’s best to peel them with a paring knife or peeler before you cut them. Alternatively, you can leave the peach skin if a recipe calls for unpeeled peaches.\n2. __Slice the peaches in half__. Place your peaches on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, slice evenly down the middle, from the top to the bottom of the fruit. \n3. __Remove the peach pits__. You can pull one-half of [freestone peaches](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-can-peaches) cleanly away from the pit, while clingstone peaches will take a little more work.\n4. __Quarter the peach flesh__. After pitting the peaches, slice the peach halves in two, making quarters. \n5. __Cut the peaches__. After quartering the peaches, you can slice and dice the fruit according to your recipe. Cut thin peach slices for [canning](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-can-peaches) or peach pie and [tarts](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/peach-tarte-tatin-recipe) recipes. You can also cut the wedges into smaller chunks to make preserves, fruit salad, or peach ice cream.\nWhen you’re prepping for a peach recipe or simple summer snack, consider these tips:\n\n1. __Choose ripe peaches__. Ripe peaches taste best and are easier to peel. Look for peaches with bright flesh and a sweet, floral fragrance. Gently press your fingers into the peach near the steam—a ripe peach will have a slight amount of give in the flesh. If the peach is too soft, it may be overripe and mealy, and if it’s too firm, it probably lacks sweetness and juiciness.\n2. __Ripen peaches at home__. If ripe peaches are unavailable, you can buy fresh peaches before they are ripe at the grocery store or farmer’s market and ripen them at home. Simply place the peaches in a brown paper bag and leave them someplace warm with adequate air circulation. When they’re nicely soft, you can eat or cook them.\n3. __Blanch the peaches__. Quickly blanching the peaches in boiling water can make them even easier to peel. Place the peaches in boiling water for no longer than thirty seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon and immerse them in an ice-water bath to loosen the skins.\n4. __Gently twist the peach__. For the clingstone peach variety, getting the pit free can take a little extra effort. After making a clean cut through the peach, gently twist each half in opposite directions to pry the stone loose from the peach flesh.\n\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Alice Waters, Gabriela Cámara, Niki Nakayama, Chef Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, and more.\nLearn how to cut peaches to prepare for snacking and baking.