October 11, 2011
My parents went on vacation, but right before, they gave me half a box of pears. My mother was afraid they would ripen when they were gone, so she asked me to process them when they were ready. Method: drying.
Well, the pears did ripen when they were gone. I think in the past, Mom quartered the pears, but I decided to cut them into disks. For the most part, pears have a much smaller core than apples do, and they also ripen from the core out. Therefore, I really only had to cut the seeds out of a few disks, turning them into rings. I then placed them on the dehydrator trays.
Mom also gave me some ginger, and talking to my father, we decided to spice a few with cinnamon, also. So I left two trays as is, seasoned two trays with ginger, and seasoned the other two trays with cinnamon and a touch of cloves. However, they were also placed in the dehydrator at the same time, so it is quite possible the pears will just pick up the spices from the air as they cook.
All in all, it took about 24 hours for most of the pears to dry, though a few thicker slices needed about another six hours. They are a little bit tough, like fruit leather and less like store bought dried fruit. But they are still pretty tasty and all natural. I did place them in a sack and then put them in the freezer to help insure their shelf life.