Kitchen helper ... How to remove stones from clingstone peaches and nectarines

You might know that both peaches and nectarines come in clingstone and freestone varieties.  As the name suggests, clingstones hold on to their stones and tend to be firmer, whereas the flesh comes away more easily with freestones.

This is not a big deal if you’re just eating them fresh. But if you are dealing with a quantity, for example making a dessert, jam, or chutney, removing the stones from a clingstone peach or nectarine can be a bit of a pain.

There are two methods you can try:

  1. Instead of cutting the fruit in half from top to bottom, cut it along its equator (imagining the stalk is north) – in other words, cut it in half around its middle.  Twist, and the stone should be revealed sticking out of one half.  Because more of the stone is visible cutting it this way, you can grasp and wiggle the stone out.
  2. If the stone refuses to budge or the fruit did not successfully twist open as the stone was clinging too tightly, use a small paring knife and cut closely around the stone much as you would a mango, carving two “cheeks” from each fruit. There will be a bit of excess to tidy up around the stone; do that with your paring knife also.



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