Here’s how to dehydrate peaches using a dehydrator.
Check out the difference between dried canned peaches and dried frozen peaches. The ones on the left are canned peaches and the ones on the right are frozen peaches. That’s the difference sugar makes! I buy canned peaches packed with the least amount of sugar – but they’re still sweetened. Sugar causes fruit to dry much softer and flexible than unsweetened fruit. It also turns slightly translucent. And yes, of course, they taste sweeter, so it’s no surprise my kids prefer the dried canned peaches.
RECIPE TO DEHYDRATE PEACHES
How to Dehydrate Peaches
- peaches (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (to prevent browning of fresh peaches)
Prepare Fresh Peaches
- Use ripe, sweet peaches. Wash and peel peaches if desired (peeling is optional).To peel, bring large pot of water to boil. Use a paring knife and score an X through the skin on the bottom of each peach. Plunge peaches into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to ice water until cool to touch.Peel skin using the loosened skin where you marked the X.Cut in half and remove pit.Cut in slices and place in bowl of anti-browning solution (4 cups water with 1/4 cup lemon juice).
- Drain canned peaches and partially thaw frozen peaches if they need to be cut.
- Pat peaches dry and cut to similar size and thickness, 1/4 inch - no thinner or they will stick and tear. I like slices for snacking on, smaller pieces for including in mixes and recipes.
- Place peaches on mesh trays leaving a little space between each slice. Put in dehydrator and dry at 135°F (57°C) for 10 to 12 hours. Time will vary with each dehydrator, thickness of peaches and with temperature and humidity levels in your house.
- Rotate trays and check peaches at 6 hours to get a sense of how quickly they are drying.
- Finished peaches will be pliable and leathery with no signs of moisture when torn in half. As they cool they will become firmer. Let rest on tray until cooled, at least 2 hours.
- Once cooled totally and completely, place in an airtight container (glass jar is best). To condition the peaches and ensure they are absolutely dry throughout, watch and shake jar for next 7 days. If the peaches soften greatly, clump together or if there is any sign of moisture on sides of jar - return to dehydrator. If all is good, store in a cool, dark place for a year or more.
HOW TO CONDITION AND STORE DRIED PEACHES
Like all dried fruit, dried peaches should be conditioned before storing.
Conditioning dried fruit allows any moisture differences between pieces to balance out. After drying, some peach slices may have higher amounts of moisture than other pieces. When all the pieces are stored together, the moisture equalizes between them. After about 7-10 days the moisture level of all the pieces is about the same. This process is called conditioning and it’s very easy to do.
Pack cooled peaches loosely in a glass jar. Seal, shake daily and observe for 7 days. If at any point you see any signs of condensation in the jar, dry the fruit more. If the slices clump together (more than when you put them in the jar) or go quite soft, you’ll need to dry them more. If the slices look and feel dry after 7 days – you can store the jar in a cool, dark place for a year or more.
Store dried peaches in a tightly sealed container, away from light in a room with consistent temperature (ideally cool). Read How to Store Dried Food for more details.
Vacuum sealing is optional.
HOW TO USE DRIED PEACHES
Dried peach slices are great snacks just as they are.
Dried peach pieces are great in homemade baking, but I do recommend soaking them in water first. This will re-hydrate and plump them up nicely. Simply put pieces in a bowl and cover with hot water for 15 to 30 minutes. Drain the water and use in your favourite baking recipe.
Otherwise, use them as is for
- in oatmeal or homemade instant oatmeal
- in homemade tea blends
- in trail mix
- in porridge, chia seed pudding or other soft, wet foods
OTHER DRIED FRUIT RECIPES
Do you have any questions about drying peaches? I love getting reader’s questions and comments, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @getgettys and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.