We have a large winter pear tree below the vegetable garden and every year there is a big crop of pears. (we probably have such a big crop because the pear tree is below the garden and the tree’s roots take in a lot of the nutrients that have seeped through from the garden) .
Every year until this year we have not eaten many of the Winter pears because at the end of the Autumn they are still very hard and they don’t seem to store well. This year the whole crop was lying on the ground below the tree in mid December and they were starting to go ripen. Many of them were already rotten. In order to make some use of them I decided to dry them using our drying machine.
A few months ago I bought a 250 watt Arizona food dehydrator on the internet. There are 5 layers of plastic with many holes in and the food is loaded on each layer until it is full.
It would be possible to slice the pears by hand but I put them through the slicing attachment on Sarah’s Magimix Food processor to save time. The picture on the left shows the fully loaded drying machine ready for use.
The foto on the left shows the dehydrated pears after about 8 hour in the machine. They are not totally dessicated and they are leathery rather than brittle. The idea is to add them to our mueseli.
They are really tasty and they could be eaten as a heathy snack. I imagine that they would be perfect for children.
To find out the cost of the electricty consumed I used a consumption calculator here http://crazycalculations.com/electrical_consumption/index.php According to the calculator the drying cost me 38 euro cents. (I was at the coastal house where we use Iberdrola who charge 19 cents per Kwh)
The pear drying experiment was a big success. The dried pears are delicious and this year will be the first year that we have been able to use many of the winter pears.
I had previously tried storing the pears but they tend to go brown which makes them emit ethylene gas which makes all of them go off very quickly.