Annual Pear Harvest - Drying

Nifty

Garden Addicted
Administrator
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
972
Reaction score
504
Points
247
Location
Bay Area CA
When I was little my family would pick / dry pears from our trees.

I didn't do a great job keeping up the tradition with my kids, but we did a small batch last year in our tiny food dehydrator. They enjoyed the process, loved the results, and everyone we shared them with loved them too.

So, this year I decided it would be nice to make it an official tradition, so I committed to buying this nice stainless-steel 10-tray dehydrator to dry a TON of pears this year! (I also bought this silicone mat that made removing / cleaning SO MUCH EASIER!!!)

We setup an assembly (de-assembly) line where one kid core'd the pears, the 2nd kid cleaned out all the worms/holes (every pear comes with at least one free moth larva), and then I'd use the Cuisinart to slice them, then I'd dunk them in a sugar/lemon-juice mix, drain them, and then we'd work as a team laying them out on the trays. It goes pretty quick once we get in a groove!

Here's the tree (even after losing about 1/2 of it's pears)

pears1.jpg


... and here's our setup:
pears2.jpg


1/4 of our harvest so far:
pears3.jpg


... and a bunch of pears waiting to ripen to do another batch:

pears4.jpg
 

Nifty

Garden Addicted
Administrator
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
972
Reaction score
504
Points
247
Location
Bay Area CA
Do you treat the pear slices with lemon juice before drying them?

I fill a large glass bowl with a mix of water, sugar, lemon juice. Then I put a strainer that fits just perfect inside of it.

Immediately after the pears are sliced, they go into the strainer inside the bowl and get swished around a lot in the mix. Then I pull up/out the strainer, shake it a bit, and let it stand over another empty bowl for a bit to let more water drain out. Then start spreading the slices onto the trays :)

I don't think it's a necessary process... it's just what my mom did growing up. Sugar for a little more sweetness (almost def. not needed) and lemon juice to help with keeping them from turning too brown?

I really should do a test next time without any of this part of the process and see how they turn out!
 
Top