Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Dehydrated Pears -- New Delight
About a month ago, I bought two lugs of pears from a pear farm. The one canned food my children will eat out of the jar is canned pears. So even though I've only canned apples before (successfully anyway, I've tried blackberry jam and it looked like juice), I decided to can the pears too.
I love dehydrating and thought I should dry some of the pears too. But I had this memory of bad textured, bland tasting dried pears from the store. This kept making me throw more pears into the pot for canning. Near the end, I decided just to dry one tray to see how different the pears might taste if I dried them, knowing that the store uses sulphur dioxide and who knows what else to mess up the flavor (and keep them looking less brown). I also dehydrated a bunch of peaches (since I KNOW how heavenly those are) and loaded the rest of the trays up with fruit leather *YUM!*
The surprise of the next day was that the pears were absolutely delicious. Really, really tasty. Nothing like the bland ones in the store. I cut mine thinner than the store's. Theirs seem to be 1/2 pear (although they don't look all that thick). I cut mine into maybe 1/4 inch slices, probably even thinner -- about 5 slices on each side of the middle of the pear, then little thin strips from the 2 sides left over.
I dehydrated them at about 106 degrees overnight and into the next morning. They're okay warm, but are really great cooled down. (I only mention that because peaches, apricots, and mangoes are super yummy warm too -- like eating pie out of the oven).
I was kicking myself for not using a whole lug of the pears to dry. But live and learn. I've bought pears at Costco twice since and have dried them. I took a picture before they went into the dehydrator the other night to show you the before and after, but you know what? I finished them off today before getting a picture of the after. Sorry! I'll add one on here the next time I make them. And for some agonizing reason, my before picture won't download from my camera right now, so I'll have to save that for later too.
Until then, try them for yourself. They're great to just have in a ziploc while out and about or just nice to have handy in the kitchen to nibble on. Such a sweet treat!