The Sweetest Way to Recycle Peach Peels

September  8, 2016

Earlier this summer, we were introduced to Rhonda35’s Third Generation Peach Pie: the pie that has stood the test of time and can also stand up to almost every tweak you think to throw at it. And as if that weren't impressive enough, Rhonda35 has one more trick up her sleeve that ​you'll want to copy every time you make this pie (or any other recipe that calls for peeled peaches).

The Hesser family recipe calls for 5 cups of peeled and sliced fresh peaches, from about 8 medium peaches. That’s a lot of peach peels—and Rhonda35 realized that they didn’t need to go to waste. She set them aside, thinking she could dry them and grind them together with a little sugar, and then, serendipitously, she came across my recipe for Tomato Skin Salt, which gave her a guideline to follow.

She followed a similar process as I did with the tomato skins, spreading the peach peels out on a baking sheet (lined with parchment or Silpat, so they don't stick) and baking them in the oven at 200° F until the peach peels were completely dry.

Peach peels, drying in the oven. #beautiful #peaches #nowaste

Then she ground the dried peach skins, measured the volume she ended up with, added the same amount of sugar, and ground again. The result? In her words: "I now have a jar filled with delicious, peachy, sweet goodness to be sprinkled onto/into...everything!"

Peach Sugar. #peaches #sugar #delicious

What other normally-discarded peels would make for good flavored sugar or salt? Tell us in the comments! We're thinking of trying pear peel sugar next.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Libby O'Connell
    Libby O'Connell
  • magsmaggiep
  • Janet Howerton
    Janet Howerton
  •  RisenWell
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Libby O. October 13, 2022
Try dried micro grated orange peel mixed with salt. You can add thyme and/or rosemary or even ground chili flakes.
magsmaggiep January 11, 2020
I often preserve peaches and then make jelly from the peels. It’s a lovely coloured jelly, with a mild peach taste. Here’s a link to a pic of my first attempt years ago:
Janet H. August 6, 2019
I have a wonderful way to use peach peelings. Put peelings only in a pot with lid and slightly cover with water. Cook on low until almost all liquid is gone (just leave a very little), add sugar as desired sweetness. Cook for about 25 minutes, let cool and make homemade fried pies with the mixture. Homemade pastry makes a better fried pie, but canned biscuits can also be used. Enjoy.
BEVERLY K. August 6, 2019
When I was a kid back in the 50s and early 60s, my Momma would can peaches -- she saved everything, including the peelings. She would can them with a bit of sugar and some cinnamon and other spices. Then in the winter, she would make fried peach peeling pies. She called them "half-moon pies" and cooked them in a big iron skillet she had bought in 1934 when my brother Johnny was a baby (35 cents). They were good and I've not eaten anything like them since. Whenever I visited Momma after peach season, she would give me a jar or two of peach peelings--I mixed them with yogurt, used them in a cake, or simply served them alongside a pork tenderloin or with roast chicken. I could never make pie crust like hers, so never made fried pies, although her skillet is my most prized kitchen tool. Momma died in 1989--wish I'd paid more attention when she canned peaches.
Lindsay-Jean H. August 6, 2019
What a sweet story Beverly, thank you so much for sharing. I bet those pies were incredible! And how wonderful that you have her special skillet to carry on your own culinary adventures.
RisenWell August 6, 2019
What about putting them in vinegar (champagne vinegar for instance...Bellini salad dressing!)or , once dry adding them to granola,or fruit leather paste? (Though, when I peel peaches, the skin is so thin, with no flesh attached, not sure there'd be much to work with. And truly, do you really peel pears??
patricia G. April 15, 2019
Tomato skin salt (which I sometimes flavour with dried herbs and spices) is fun, but my favourite is probably celery leaf salt, pure and simple. Not a fruity sugar, but a very versatile seasoning.
Ceege August 18, 2017
Oh no.....a day late and a dollar short (as my Granny used to say). I just canned my farm peaches a couple weeks ago. Had I seen this article then, I would have had a whole bushel of peach skins to dry and save. Apples season is coming soon and I will return to the same farm for apples. AND as Jessie Johns stated - works good w/apple skins, so will try it then. Thanks for such a great idea.
Kate September 18, 2016
Love this!
beejay45 September 8, 2016
I use my peach peels to dye/stain silk for scarves. Sometimes I just squish them together for all over color -- looks kind of like tie-dye. I've been playing with a batik-ish twist, using resist in some areas to keep them clear for "painting". So far I've just got a couple pieces of fabric with bare spots. I'll get there. ;)
Jessie J. September 8, 2016
This works really well with apple peels too. The apple sugar (with or without a little cinnamon) is a great mix-in for oatmeal. And if you use a coarse sugar in the mix it becomes a great topper for baked goods like muffins or scones.
Kristen M. September 8, 2016
Love this so much—dying to know what you've used it on so far, Rhonda!
Alexandra S. September 8, 2016
This is so genius! Love!