Abundance of Pears

Dried pears are probably our family’s favorite dried fruit.  When we made them for my daughter’s preschool snacks, they were even a hit with the kids there.  They are super sweet and keep that crunchy grit that great pears have.   You don’t have to be too worried about how you cut them before dehydrating them, either.  I’ve cut them thick and thin.  I’ve cut them in rings and strips.  No matter what, they’ve turned out delicious every time.

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You’ll see that we used nice, red pears that we bought from the Azure Standard organic truck that rolls through town once a month, and we also used mottled, ugly pears from my in-law’s tree.  No matter.  As long as they’re soft, just yielding to thumb pressure, and sweet, you’ll get a delightful dried pear.  Don’t try to use a hard, unripe pear.  Yuck.  Wait on them.  They’ll soften up.  To make our dried pears, we simply:

  •  Wash pears and dry.
  • Cut or core out center ( I used a corer and my mother-in-law used a knife).
  • We do not peel them, and we do not place them in any preservative, not even ascorbic acid.  You could to keep them from turning brown and to add some vitamin C, but if I have to add an extra step–I probably won’t get something done.  So I skip it.  I think brown is a fabulous fall color!
  • Slice as desired into rings or strips.  Most of ours were about 1/4 inch thick, but some were thicker and some thinner!  ALL were good when dried.
  • Lay on dehydrating racks, leaving space around each pear.
  • Dehydrate at desired temperature.  I did a batch at “live foods” temperature (105 degrees F/ 40.6 degrees C), and they were too moist for my taste.  So I cranked the dehydrator up to 135 degrees F (57.2 degrees C).  I dehydrate them until they are the dryness I desire, about 8-10 hours.  We like them quite dry, and they keep longer this way.  Even still, they are not “chips.”  They are a little more chewy.

I bought a large Excalibur dehydrator and have made myself use it.  We like it a lot.  We make dried bananas.  I have the kids do it when we have a bunch of bananas going South.  We make beef jerky.  We make dried pears.  Fruit leathers.  Oh, and it’s absolutely awesome for yogurt.  Just the best.  So for us, the Excalibur was worth the investment.

Anyone else dried any fruit?  Like it?  Any thoughts on dried fruit in general?  Pears?  Give us your tips, your pearls, your ugly thoughts!

Terri

Related post:  Making Applesauce
In the draft bin:  Short Chain Fatty Acids on My Metametrix and Pigeon-holed Doctors

11 thoughts on “Abundance of Pears

  1. IrishMum

    Excalibur dehydrators are so expensive here in Australia, but I got one a few months ago and love it. We love kale chips, thought I can never make enough. I haven’t tried beef jerky yet, must do it soon:)

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes, they cost your right arm…I’ve not tried kale chips in there. I wonder if they’re like the oven ones? Crispy? Beef jerky is great. When we order a whole beef, we get too many roasts for us to use up. So we have tried cutting that into thin strips and using that for the jerky. Good.

      Reply
  2. Julie

    I have only used my cheaper dehydrator (I don’t think it has the living/raw food option, lol) for spices/ herbs like cilantro, parsley, etc …but I would like to get better use out of it, so finding this post has inspired me to try pears now too!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Drying herbs! That is great! I just hadn’t thought of that. I often buy herbs and they go to waste. Now I will force myself to toss them in the dehydrator. I haven’t regretted my Excalibur yet and keep it plugged in and ready for use in the garage. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
      1. Julie

        Yes, there are a multitude of uses, esp. with those high-end dehydrators! I’m not sure which kind the Excalibur is, but a lady in my church has a really nice one also that has the square shaped pans (it was like $450 a few years ago)…she only eats Raw/living foods though, so for her lifestyle it is a necessity to be able to make things like tortillas with living foods. She teaches classes out of her house, and also a website at: http://www.totallyrawsome.com/ if you’re ever interested in checking it out.

        For me, the highest priced item in my kitchen so far is my blendtec blender that I got earlier this year, so I’m not in the market for any new gadgets until I master that one, lol!

        Sorry this is so long, but another “gadget” I can’t live without (in reference to your post about the meat cleaver) is my FoodSaver …it vacuum seals things like there’s no tomorrow, making them last extra long in the freezer or pantry (herbs in a mason jar for instance), and I originally bought it for use with jars and have an attachment to be able to make salad in a jar, which is another great and easy option for moms on the go or homeschoolers 😉 and there is a great website for that as well; which is also how I got into baking my own bread (b/c I’m easily side tracked, lol), if you’re interested: http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/

        And now, that I got you completely off the topic, I hope you have a great day!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks for bringing this up! I store them in a Ziploc baggie or glass storage bowl with a lid. If we don’t eat them up after about a week, I stow them in the freezer for longevity. Our bananas are chewy, but usually they are still “dry.” I don’t dip them in anything, I keep them very thin, and I dry them about 135 degrees F until they are ultra dry. I’m sure it depends on weather, fruit, and dehydrator, too! Soggy ones would probably still freeze and go into a smoothie or banana bread for those who do those, do you think? Have a great day!

      Reply

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