Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dehydrating Peaches - Blanching & Peeling

I took half a case of peaches and blanched them first. Mike and I both agreed that the unpeeled peaches might be fine for snacking, but we prefer the peeled ones for pies and cobblers.


Remember, blanching is not the same as cooking. 
  • Bring your water to a rolling boil
  • Put a few pieces of fruit in the pot, but do not let the boil stop (it doesn’t show in this pic, but the water is still boiling)
  • Set your timer for three minutes
  • Take the fruit out and immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. This also makes the skin separate from the fruit
  • Pinch the skin and it will slide right off.  See my post on peeling tomatoes if you are not sure how to do this.

Blanched Peaches

Notice I put the peach skins on the racks, too. These will be dried and powdered.  Mike added a bit of peach to his tea this morning and pronounced it delicious!  These powdered skins are great in tea. 

Pitting the Peaches

These were supposed to be free stone peaches, so the pit easily separates from the fruit. But they were not.  Now I had to deal with getting rid of the pits.  I played around with a variety of ways to cut them, but skinned peaches are slippery and difficult to handle. So I decided to cut them this way.

First, I cut straight down on either side of the peach pit, just like you would a mango.

Then I laid the pit on its side and cut straight down again, leaving a bit of fruit on either end. These pits were tossed in a bowl.

Next, I took the main part of the fruit and sliced it.  this worked really well and was easy to get fairly consistent sized pieces.

I used a paring knife to remove as much fruit as I could from the pits.
It was a little fussy, but not as bad as it could have been.

I took those little bits from around the pits and pureed them.  They were a bit tart, so I tossed in a can of drained pineapple chunks. Still a bit tart, so I added a banana. 

Normally I make my fruit leather plops a bit larger, but in October, I plan on teaching a dehydrating class, so I wanted smaller samples for people to taste. These are about a tablespoon in size.

Notice the ones on the left.  They are rather thickish. In order to even them out, I simply tapped the rack on the counter, like you  would for cake batter in a pan.  They leveled out just perfectly.

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