Monday, October 5, 2015

Fastest and Easiest Way to Dehydrate Pears

If you follow my blog, you will know that I am on the board of directors for our local food bank. With that, they all know I dehydrate almost anything. There are some things they like dehydrated and some things they don't. 
If they like something dehydrated, they will often give me a call to come get some of the food that they have LOTS of before it goes bad. That way, I can dehydrate the food and take it back for the director and workers. This is a GREAT blessing to me. I also get to keep some of the food that I take and dry some for myself as well! They are wonderful to allow me to share it with others in the community if they have LOTS of stuff that will not get distributed before going bad.

This past week, they let me know they had pears. They were just perfectly ripe. In a few more days, they would have begun to be over ripe which makes it very time consuming to dehydrate them as you have to cut them up by hand which takes much more time over being able to peel and cut them with an apple peeler corer. 

If they are just barely over ripe, I can sometimes use a hand apple corer and cutter and then take the chunks it cuts and slice them further by hand. 

When the fruit is just turning golden from greenish, is the best time to dehydrate them. 

The quickest way is to put them on the apple peeler, corer. The peel won't come off all the way but you don't need to actually peel the pear as the peel on them is really thin.

I suggest you try dehydrating some with the peel on just to make sure you like them with the peel but I have never taken all the peel off doing pears and everyone likes them just fine. However, if you don't like that texture it adds, just peel them before slicing them. 
It is SO much easier to do them with the corer, peeler but if they get softer or have any bruising, the hand press corer works just fine to get the core out and you could also peel it before coring it. 

The last option would be to use just a corer. You can purchase a corer that you push down similar to the apple one that slices them. If you used just the corer, you could them slice it in rings very easily.

That may be an option as you wouldn't have to handle lots of little slices on the sections and would probably be less slices per pear. I haven't tried just a corer before but on ripe pears, I think that would probably be the best option. 

I hadn't really thought of that option until just now. It would be a good one! For about two flats / boxes of pears, I got about 4 gallon bags of pears without squishing them. If you compact, them, probably three gallon bags. 

You can see the ones in the bucket came out great. They were perfect. 

Now for the warning.... I took all but five trays off this morning and let the rest dry and started feeling ill as the day went on and didn't check back. I didn't lower the temperature for using less trays and I burnt the trays that I left on for the day as they were mostly dry already. 
When I had about 16 trays on the dehydrator, I would place the tray on the running dehydrator as soon as it was filled. I dried them for about 24 hours on 125 - 130 degrees flipping them over half way through drying. The silicon non-stick trays work great with this fruit as it can be juicy and sticky if they are ripe. Here is a link to how I make my own non-stick trays.

Those ones came out great. The others, with less trays and the same temp, I left on for 24 hours and they burned so adjust the temp according to the amount of trays on the dehydrator and that also affects the length of drying time. Obviously, 24 hours for five tray was too long. Set an alarm and check them every hour or so until you have a time that works for your dehydrator and the amount of trays you use. I also don't suggest you do it when you aren't feeling well. ;-) 

I think the medication may be starting to work and I am TIRED, Which happens to be a side effect of the drug! I'll post more later on that....

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