August 7, 2012
Peaches are WAY up there on the list of awesomest fruit. But I constantly struggle with feeling like they are only “in season” at the grocery store for about 45 minutes, and that by the time I am done unpacking the groceries to put everything away, they’re wrinkly-mush-balls.
Still, we’re making an effort, and at least 15% of our peaches are ripe when we process them. Most of the peaches we’ve handled so far we have sliced up, placed in a simple syrup and a chunk of vanilla bean, and canned (probably another post coming to a blog near you). We had a few chunks left over so we tossed them in the dehydrator because why not, and they are EFFING FANTASTIC. They hold their flavor so well they are just absolutely yummy.
So we dehydrated a bunch of peaches just for funsies because I definitely want more of those around.
We went with fairly thin slices (.25 inch) for the dried peaches, and slightly larger (.5 inch) for the canned peaches. Also, if you are doing both at the same time, I’d can the peaches that are the least ripe. They will be flavored some by the syrup as well as the other peaches, and the sugar will help pull juice and flavor out. For drying, what you put in is what you get out, so the ripest ones are the best.
Chopping up peaches…it’s the pits! (ha ha…oh fine. It wasn’t funny).
I will say that even slices will help you maximize your dehydrator space. The very even rows *really* appeal to my neurotic side.
Next to come will likely be the saga about all the insane amounts of canning and drying we are doing. It might even include a sneak peak of our upcoming adventure that will put our skills to the test. Stay tuned!