Forget the Partridge, let's just Dehydrate Pears!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope your day was bright and fun and full of all the good things God has for you!

In the spirit of the season I would like to demonstrate how to dehydrate pears!  Oh pears, what a wonderful fruit!  Actually, before my dehydrator I didn't really care for them, it was the texture that bothered me the most.  They were grainy and not sweet enough for me.

So when my son gave me the dehydrator for Christmas one year I thought, "What's to lose?  I'll try a pear!" And I am so very glad I did!

I love them, actually, they are one of my staples in my cupboard.  They dry nicely, and actually taste a little like candy to me. YUM!

Anywhoo, here we go...

Step One:   Gather your supplies!  

  • A Cutting Board
  • A Sharp Knife
  • A Fruit Corer
  • A Mandolin
  • Dehydrator
  • And 6 medium sized pears-make sure they are not too small, and they need to be firm.

Step Two:  Slice off both ends of the Pear.

Do this to 5 of them, leaving 1 uncut because sometimes 5 are enough to fill the trays.  If you need more, cut the last one.

Step Three:  Core the Pear!

This may seem a bit obvious, but it's very important to have the right tools.  I used to core my fruit with a long skinny knife and it took forever, and was slightly dangerous.  I didn't like the traditional apple corer because it not only cored the fruit, but sliced it into wedges, which are not good for dehydrating.  When I found this one I was instantly in love with it!  No kidding.  I love this tool!!

Make sure you position the bottom piece (with the metal) directly over the little round spot on the top of the fruit.  Then simply push down.

Voila! A perfectly cored pear!

You may have to grow Popeye arms and force it, but since you chopped off the top/bottom the Pear won't wobble.  When it's out, pop in the top part (solid green) and push the core into the sink/garbage.   If there's any core left, scrape it out and you're done!

Step Four:  Use your Mandolin!

That means it's time to slice them!  I've tried doing it by hand (slices are uneven) and the food processor (it turns into mush) so the mandolin is awesome.  Make sure you use the hand protector and work in a back and forth motion.  If it catches, make sure you clear underneath, as the fruit tends to pile up and blocks the slicing motion.  

NOTE: It should be obvious, but it's better to be safe rather than sorry. DO NOT touch the blade, on top or bottom. If you have a piece that's stuck, use a spoon or utensil to remove it.

The mandolin makes nice uniform thin slices.  When you dehydrate, it's better to have your fruit/veggies the same thickness, as they will dry uniformly.  Thicker slices take longer to dry, so thicker spots in the fruit will do the same.  Also, the firmer the fruit, the better it slices.

Step Five:  Place your fruit in the Dehydrator.

Make sure you arrange them in one layer.  Do not overlap the slices, again, overlapping will create thick spots.  Fill the trays and stack them, place the top on, and then set the temperature - the book says set it at 135*F for 6-16 hours.  I prefer to crank it up to the top temperature and then it's usually done in 6-8 hours.  I like my pears crisp, so this is perfect for me.  And actually, they still have a little softness to them because of the grainy texture and the moisture that's naturally found in Pears.

Then simply go about your day.

Step Six:  Enjoy the Bounty!

After your time is up, it's important to move the now dried pears into a ziploc bag or plastic container with a lid as soon as possible. Exposure to the air for long periods of time will cause some of the moisture you sucked out to reabsorb and then you will have to put them back in for an hour or so to re-dehydrate them.

The darker, reddish ones in the picture are Red Anjou, the whitish green ones are Bartlett's.  I've found that the Anjou's tend to be softer, so make sure they don't sit out too long.  It's actually better to do your Pears the same day you bought them because they tend to ripen/soften quicker than most fruits.  Each one has a slightly different flavor, so experiment to find the ones you like.

And that's it!  Sit back and get to munching!  

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