How to Dry Pears in the Oven - without Sulfites, Sugar or other Sweeteners
How to Dry Pears in the Oven without Sulfites, Sugar or other Sweeteners
It's Easier Than You Might Think!
In this post you will learn a very simple method for drying pears for preservation without the use of sulfites, sugar, or other sweeteners. This method will work in both electric and gas ovens; the key is maintaining a low temperature of 140 - 170 degrees over an extended period of time. It's never too late to start putting up food for the winter, or the eunexpected.
- Pears - use organic whenever possible
- Lemon Juice - fresh is best
- Clean Drinking Water
- Sharp Knife
- Large non-reactive bowl
- Baking Sheets
- Wire Rack(s) for cooling the dried fruit
- Parchment, Silpat or Silicone baking Mats - 1 for each baking sheet
- Air-tight storage containers or bags that are freezer-safe
- You may use parchment paper if you do not have these, though I feel the alternative is much more eco-friendly since Silicone and Silpat mats can be reused over and over again, and for multiple uses.
- If you do not have more than 2 racks for your oven, consider borrowing 2, along with a few baking sheets. It is best to load your oven up since you will be using the energy anyhow. Offer to share your bounty with the lender!
Step by Step Instructions:
- Wash the fruit well; you will be leaving the peel on.
I use cool water and a soft, natural scrub brush.
- If your pears are store-bought, then I would recommend using a Fruit & Veggie Wash.
- You may prepare your own (DIY) baking soda and water mixture at a ratio of 1TB baking soda per quart of water; Rinse well.
- Drain in a colander then place on a towel to dry.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the fruit into quarters, lengthwise.
- Use a melon-baller to easily remove seeds, stem, and stringy core pieces.
- Place quartered fruit into a large non-reactive bowl with 1 TB lemon juice per gallon of water.
- Allow fruit to soak for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
- Drain well in a colander or basket.
- Arrange fruit on baking sheets covered with Silpat or silicon baking mats.
- don't allow the fruit to touch on the drying tray or else the pieces will become stuck together.
- Place in low temperature oven 140-175 degrees for 12-18 hours,
- check for any hotspots every couple of hours which may require rotation of the trays.
- it is helpful to prop the oven door open for circulation/more effective drying; however, I have a gas stove and left it closed throughout the process.
- When dried to your satisfaction, remove trays from oven and transfer the fruit to wire rack to cool.
- Package in Seal-A-Meal or Vacuum bags and store in freezer for up to 6 months.
- You may also use any other re-sealable container that is freezer safe.
These dried pears travel well and make a nutritious, delicious and wholesome gift basket delight, as well as being a healthy addition to your:
- glove box
- desk drawer
- emergency rations
- trail snack.
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