Peaches may be easily and safely peeled by using a Caustic Soda Solution according to the following directions: -
Dissolve 2 dessertspoonfuls caustic soda in 3 pints boiling water, and allow to boil (a big paraffin tin will be found convenient for this). Tie the fruit in a piece of butter muslin, being careful to use only perfectly sound, firm fruit, then gently lower the fruit into the caustic soda solution, leave for 10 to 15 seconds, then rinse in two separate lots of cold water, and in the second bath gently rub off the skins with a coarse cloth. Lastly, drop the fruit into a bath of cold water made slightly acid - any kind of acid may be used, such as lemon juice, vinegar, citric, or tartaric acid, etc.
Pears, apricots, and plums may be treated the same way, although in the case of pears it is necessary to make the solution stronger owing to the toughness of the skins.
If less caustic soda is used than prescribed above, the fruit has to be immersed for a longer time, consequently is apt to soften, and will not be as satisfactory.
Fruit done by this method presents a much more attractive appearance than when peeled, nor is there the same waste through the cutting away of flesh.