How to Dry Peaches
Peaches are a delicious summer fruit, and they taste even better when plucked fresh off the tree! However, peach season is fleeting and only lasts about a month in New England. At Parlee Farms, August is Peach Month! You need to pick peaches when they are perfectly ripe, and then you have a window of time to enjoy your fruit while it is still fresh. By preserving the fruit you pick, you can vastly extend your enjoyment of it.
In a previous article, we talked about methods of preservation such as canning, freezing, and making jam. You can easily adapt the advice in that article to peaches. However, drying is a method not mentioned in that article that works very well for peaches.
There are two basic methods for drying peaches that we will cover here. Note that you may have heard of sun drying or air drying as other viable methods for drying peaches. We don’t recommend these methods because it could harbor dangerous bacterial growth. We do recommend either oven drying or using a food dehydrator to dry your peaches. Here’s more information:
Preparing Your Peaches for Drying
No matter which method of drying that you use for drying peaches, you will need to prepare them. You’ll want to start by washing your peaches well in advance. The skin needs to be totally dry before you start drying them. It is best to let them air dry after you rinse them off, and to get them fully dry this could take up to 24 hours.
Next, you’ll want to slices the peaches. Aim for slicing them to about 1/8 of an inch thick. However, you can make them thicker. Just understand if the slices are thicker, it will take longer to dehydrate them. The methods mentioned here assume that you are cutting them to 1/8 of an inch thick. As you slice, be sure to discard any brown spots. Also, there is no need to peel your peaches. The skin actually helps the peaches during the drying process.
After you slice the peaches, you will want to use lemon juice. You will need two use the juice of one lemon for every four peaches you slice. This translates to about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for every peach you slice. Simply add the peaches to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle in the lemon juice, and toss the peaches with a wooden spoon to coat the lemon juice on the peaches.
Drying Peaches in the Oven
Prepare the peaches as listed above. To dry your peaches in the oven, preheat the oven to 200 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment and arrange the peaches in a single layer on the sheet. Roughly two sliced peaches fit on a single baking sheet. You may place more than one sheet in the oven if you are drying more than one peach.
Please the baking sheets in the oven and let the peaches dry for two hours. Remove the sheets from the oven and flip each of the peach slices over. Put each baking sheet back in the oven. Cook the peaches for an additional two hours or so, or until the peaches are dried all the way through. Cook times may vary depending on the oven. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool. Place in an airtight container after they are cooled and store them away from heat or light.
Using the Dehydrator to Dry Peaches
Prepare the peaches as listed above. To dry the peaches in your food dehydrator machine, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the machine. Set the machine’s settings to 135 Degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading the trays and drying the peaches. It should take 3-4 hours to dehydrate the peaches using a food dehydrator.
Dried peaches can store well for around six months under the proper conditions. Make sure to store them in an airtight container away from heat or light. Airtight plastic storage containers work especially well for this purpose.
Categorized in: Peaches
This post was written by Parlee Farms