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A Perfect Fruit for Drying
A pear is one of the best fruits for dehydrating. Dried pears are a delicious snack and they are also wonderful sprinkled on salads and added to compotes. Using a dehydrator makes the process simple, and by following a few steps you are assured the tastiest result possible as well as ensuring they are safely preserved for long-term storage at room temperature.
Pears are best for dehydrating when they are ripe but not too soft. For example, Bartlett pears (the best variety for drying) are at the perfect stage for drying when they are turning yellow but still firm. They get to that stage a day or two before they would be ideal for juicy fresh eating.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
What You Will Need
In addition to the ripe pears, you only need a few other items (including the food dehydrator), most of which you will have in your kitchen.
Have ready a bowl of acidulated water (water mixed with lemon juice or vinegar) to prevent browning, as well as a colander, vegetable peeler, knife, and a pear corer if you prefer. You will also need a set of jars for storage.
If you process a lot of pears, you may want to invest in a pear corer loop tool. It's a simple tool with an asymmetrical loop that is just the right size to lop out the core and then drag down the stem.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Make Acidulated Water
Make the acidulated water by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice per quart of water.
As you slice the peeled pears, drop the pieces into the acidulated water. This step minimizes browning while the pears dry.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Prep the Pears
You will want to peel the pears before slicing them for drying. The gritty texture that pears sometimes have comes from tough cells called scleroids. Most of the scleroids are just under the skin, so peeling the pears before dehydrating them results in a better texture.
After peeling the whole pears with a vegetable peeler, cut them into quarters and remove the cores and stems. Cut the pears into 1/2-inch slices.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Drain the Pear Slices
When you are ready to dehydrate the pear slices, drain them thoroughly in a colander. You can also blot them dry with a paper towel if they are very wet.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Arrange Pear Slices on Dehydrator Trays
Arrange the drained pear slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Be sure to leave space for air circulation between the pear slices. None of the slices should be touching each other.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Dry the Pears
Place the trays of pears into the dehydrator. Dry between 130 F to 140 F (54 C to 60 C) until the pears are leathery with no moist spots (usually 8 to 10 hours).
Turn off the dehydrator and allow the pears to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Store the Dried Pears
Store dried pears in tightly sealed glass jars away from direct light or heat. Label your jars with the contents and the date that you dried them. Then you can be sure to use the oldest first if you make additional batches.
Dried pears should have a shelf life of 6 months to 1 year.