Once dried, these peaches have many uses. You can simply eat them as a snack or chop them up for cereal or granola. However many classic recipes for southern fried pies and cobblers would often utilize dried peaches, bringing the flavor of summer back to life all year long.
juice of one lemon (to prevent browning)
Prior to handling peaches, be sure to clean and sanitize your work area. Wash and scrub peaches with a soft-bristled brush to remove any excess peach fuzz. Using a pairing knife, slice along the crease of the peach, all the way around. With one half in the palm of each hand, twist your hands to separate the two halves. Using the tines of a fork, remove the pit from the second half.
You could choose to dehydrate your peaches at this time, but the whole halves will take much longer than thinner slices. Instead, slice the halves into thinner uniform slices, either 2-3 slices per side. The thinner the slice, the quicker they will dry, but keep them uniform they will all dry at the same time.
Brush the cut areas of the peach slices with lemon juice to prevent browning and place them in the food dehydrator. Spread the slices evenly throughout the dehydrator to allow for adequate airflow. Dehydrate at 130-140 degrees for 10-15 hours. Peaches should be dry but still pliable when cool. Test a few pieces to see if they are ready before removing from dehydrator.
Once cool, you can store the dried peaches in an airtight container or food storage bag in the freezer or refrigerator. If planning on storing dried peaches for any great length of time, you should continue to let them air dry after removing from the dehydrator by placing them in a large open pan to rest for 10-12 days, tossing them occasionally. This will allow the moisture in the thickest areas of the slices to slowly dissipate.
While this recipe works best with a food dehydrator, you can also dry peaches in your oven on the lowest setting. Slice them thin and place on a wire rack in the center of the oven. Prop the door open slightly with a wooden spoon to allow moisture to escape and dry until done, 6-12 hours depending on your oven.
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