Here are all the needed steps for drying peaches in the oven.
Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. What’s better than biting into a sweet, juicy peach? If you have an abundance of peaches and don’t know what to do with them, why not try drying them in the oven? It’s an easy process that results in delicious, shelf-stable fruit!
In this article, I will describe the process of drying peaches in the oven so that you can do it yourself at home.
Why Should You Dry Peaches in the Oven?
Peaches are a delicious summer fruit, but they can be tricky to preserve. If you don’t have a dehydrator, your best bet is to dry them in the oven. Here’s why:
- The oven produces consistent, even heat, which is crucial for drying fruit.
- The oven is less likely than a dehydrator to over-dry your peaches and turns them into leathery strips. Dehydrators work by circulating hot air, which can lead to a final product that’s too dry on the outside and still too moist on the inside.
- You can better control the temperature when you’re drying peaches in the oven. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature low (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) to prevent the fruit from cooking or browning. This is easier to do in an oven than in a dehydrator.
- Oven-dried fruit also tends to retain more of its flavor than dehydrated fruit. This is due to the fact that dehydration can cause some fruits to lose their natural sugars.
So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to dry peaches, put them in the oven!
SEE ALSO: Easy Methods for Drying Peaches at Home
How to Dry Peaches in the Oven
Selecting Peaches for Drying
When selecting peaches for drying, you want to make sure that they are ripe but not overripe. If the peaches are too ripe, they will be mushy and won’t dry well. Mushy peaches are better for making pies and cobblers, so set your overripe peaches aside for that.
Perfectly ripe and relatively firm (but not under-ripened) peaches are ideal, so make sure you take the time to pick through and find ones that are ready to dry, whether you are at the supermarket or in your own backyard.
Your perfect peaches should be firm to the touch. They will also be dark yellow in color.
When testing peaches for ripeness, be careful not to squeeze too hard, as this will result in bruising and soften them too much.
Preparing Peaches for Drying
Whether you’re drying peaches for a future pie or just wanting to preserve them for later, it’s important to follow the proper steps to ensure they turn out perfectly. If you don’t prepare your peaches correctly, they can end up either being too dry or too moist, and neither of those options is ideal.
Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be on your way to perfectly dried peaches in no time.
- Wash your peaches thoroughly with cold water.
- Arrange them on a baking sheet and allow them to dry completely before moving forward. This may take up to 24 hours, but it’s important to do before cutting into them.
- Cut and pit your peaches, making sure that they are all the same size. Cutting your peaches into uniform slices (about eight slices per peach) will ensure that they dry evenly and in the same amount of time. If they are all different sizes, you will have some under-dried, some over-dried and potentially burned, with only a few ready to store.
- Finally, add your peach slices to a bowl and toss in lemon juice. Why? Because, like apples, bananas, mangoes, and many other fruits, peaches turn brown when sliced into and left in the open air. This process is called oxidation, and acidic juices from lemon, orange, and pineapple help to slow this process. For best results, you can expect to use the juice of one whole lemon for every four whole peaches.
You also have the option of blanching your peach slices as well before coating them in lemon juice to slow the oxidation process even further.
Here is a great video about blanching peaches.
Drying Peaches in the Oven
Now that your peaches are prepared, it’s time to start drying them in the oven. The process is pretty simple:
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to make sure that the temperature is low enough so that the peaches don’t cook or brown.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange your peach slices in a single layer on top. If they are touching, that’s okay, but try not to overlap them too much.
- Bake for two hours, and remove from the oven to flip each slice.
- Return peaches into the oven, and continue baking for another two hours.
Every oven is different, so it may take more time for them to dry. Check hourly.
Storing Oven-Dried Peaches
Once your peaches are done drying, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely. Once cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 12 months! It’s important to note that if your airtight container is made from metal, you should place your dried peaches in a plastic bag prior to placing them in the metal container, as the container will cause their color to change.
Make sure that you keep the dried peaches stored in a cool, dark area, and they will last for months!
SEE ALSO: Step-By-Step: How to Store Dried Fruits at Home
Drying peaches in the oven is a great way to preserve them for later. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your peaches turn out perfectly every time.
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