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Drying: peaches

by on October 8, 2009

DSC03455Having acquired a dehydrator from my grandparents, which they aren’t using, I set out to dry some of the peaches I have in my refrigerator. I scoured the internet for directions for dehydrating peaches and other fruits. Recommendations ranged from dipping slices into lemon juice to prevent oxidation to sprinkling them with sugar. The food science genius, Alton Brown, recommends putting peaches in a mixture of sugar with a little salt and smoked paprika for freezing, which is another topic I know, but an interesting flavor set regardless.

My grandfather said he used to dry 1/4 inch slices between two pieces of window screen set in the sun. I figured if it worked for him, I might as well do the same. So, about 5 1/2 lbs of peaches were washed with some vinegar water to remove any bugs, chemicals, etc. Not wanting to spend an entire afternoon on the process (I love to cook, but doing extra work for a non-necessary task seems to be a waste of time to me), I didn’t peel the peaches. – once again, if it worked for my grandfather, surely it would work for me — Sliced them in 1/4-inch pieces and spread them on the drying racks of the dehydrator. (a  round Harvest Maid)

As the trays were filled,  we (Daniel helped) put them on the dehydrator which has been preheating; the instruction book said to put the temperature on 135F. Once stacked, the slices took about 8 hours of drying (plus some rotation), to be ready. The smell was wonderful; I would have bottled it if I could have.

Which makes me wonder: they can make aromatic compounds in the laboratory, so there is a way of capturing said compounds. So, how would you capture the smells that come off whatever you are cooking?



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