One of my fondest memories of Charleston is coming to her confectioners when I was a child. Although I’m not crazy about candy, I have always been a fool for dried fruit. Peach leather is one of the easiest sweets to make, and it lasts a long time—or until your friends, young and old, find your jar. This is an excellent recipe to share with a child.

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Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 peaches, not too ripe
  • sugar or honey
  • flavorless vegetable oil

Method

Drop the peaches into boiling water and leave them for 2 minutes. This will make them easy to peel and will set the color. Remove them from the water, peel them, halve them, remove the stones, and puree them in a food processor, a blender, or a food mill. Taste the puree and sweeten to your taste, remembering that the sweetness will be concentrated when the peaches are dried. For cups of puree, which will fill an average cookie sheet, a tablespoon or two of honey is usually plenty.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (140-160°). Brush a cookie sheet lightly with oil, then pour the puree onto the sheet so that it is evenly distributed. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and leave until the puree is no longer tacky to the touch but is soft and pliable. It may take as long as 24 hours.

Roll it up while it is still warm, then cut the leather into 3- and 4- inch strips and wrap each strip in plastic wrap. You may sprinkle the leather with sugar or ground nuts or shredded coconut before rolling it up if you like, or you may add spices to the puree before you dry it; but I prefer the pure flavor of ripe peaches.

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