Because peach season is so brief, having some food preservation strategies is a must. This Simple Peach Leather Recipe makes enough to prepare 2 to 3 sheets on standard food dehydrator trays, or 2 to 3 large baking sheets in the oven. Yield: About 400 square inches.
4 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches
Juice of half a lemon (about 5 teaspoons) or 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (such as Fruit-Fresh)
Purée the peaches and lemon juice in a food processor. If you don’t end up with a pourable consistency (about that of applesauce), add water a tablespoon at a time. Line dehydrator trays or baking pans with leather-making inserts made for this purpose, or with silicone baking mats, oiled plastic wrap or freezer paper. Pour the purée onto the sheets and spread it about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, leaving an inch-wide border.
Dry the peach purée until it is still somewhat tacky and flexible — like leather — and pulls away from the plastic easily. This will take 4 to 8 hours in a dehydrator or oven set at 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (see note). Leathers take longer at lower temperatures. Roll the finished leather between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap to store. If you’d like, dust the finished leather with confectioner’s sugar before rolling and storing.
Note: If your oven cannot be set low enough, set it to warm, then turn off the heat but leave the oven light on. Use an oven thermometer to guide you. Insert the baking trays, and keep an eye on them over the course of 8 to 20 hours.
Read more: Perfectly ripe peaches are tasty on their own or pair well with a variety of flavors. Learn how to cook and preserve this summer fruit in Peachy Keen Peach Recipes: Putting Summer’s Sweetest Fruit to Use.
Photo By Tim Nauman