Pears, Pears, and More Pears!

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I know I’m not alone on this: I love to take advantage of great deals.  Actually, I don’t really buy much unless I’m getting a good deal.  As we’ve mentioned before, one of the main ways we cut down on food costs is by buying in bulk when possible.  Whether it’s a side of beef, 20 whole chickens, a whole hog, or relatively large quantities of produce, you can almost always get it at a better price than when buying small portions at a time.  So when Bountiful Baskets was offering 38 pounds of organic bosc pears for $29 last week ($0.76/lb), you better believe I jumped all over it!

Now obviously our family of five cannot eat 38 pounds of pears in the relatively short window that they’re beautifully ripe before they spoil…so after letting them ripen for a week, I got to work!

IMG_1718First up, I filled the nine trays of my much-loved dehydrator with 25 sliced pears.  If you don’t have a dehydrator…I highly recommend one!  Every real food kitchen needs a dehydrator #justsayin

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To do this, I pulled out my handy dandy mandolin, washed my pears, cut off the very bottom, and sliced them 3/16” thick.  I could’ve easily done them ¼” thick and probably should’ve…but once I realized I was only at 3/16” I didn’t wanna go and switch things up.  I didn’t even core them or peel them or remove seeds, I just sliced away.  As I sliced, they fell into a bowl filled with filtered water (we have a reverse osmosis system under our kitchen sink) and the juice of half a lime (I didn’t have lemons, so lime it was).  The acidity of the lime/lemon juice helps to prevent oxidation so they don’t turn brown right after being sliced.

Once I had all my trays filled, I turned my dehydrator on to about 125 degrees F and went to bed.  I believe the timer was set to roughly 16 hours.  They probably didn’t need that long, but I prefer my dried fruit less chewy/pliable, and I wanted to make sure they were all the way dry before it shut off while I was at work the next day.  When I got home, the dehydrator was off and they were all done…dried pear perfection 😉

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I still had a ton of pears, and I figured I’d like to do something different than just dehydrate all the ones we couldn’t eat.  So I made a really convincing pitch to the hubby so he’d be on board with me buying a new toy.  Didn’t take much convincing at all…all you really have to do is tie it into cost savings.  “If I buy this awesome pressure canner/cooker that doubles as a water bath canner, we can save money by buying so many more in-season fruits and veggies in bulk and we can just store it all in the pantry for future use.”  I’ve really been wanting to get into canning and expand the scope of my kitchen tricks…the time has finally come 🙂

Stay tuned for my first experience with canning!  It’ll include a bonus recipe/tutorial for what I did with the pear scraps (peels and cores) leftover after prepping the fruit for canning!

10 thoughts on “Pears, Pears, and More Pears!

  1. mrsssc says:

    I just tried canning last week for the first time. I just did a few cans, to keep it simple with pots and such we already have, but it went well. I made banana rum jam (aka banana foster in a jar). Good luck! It seems like it could be a great way to save some $$$

    Liked by 1 person

  2. our next life says:

    What a deal! I think I’m about to buy 30 lbs of winter squash for $30 at the farmers market tomorrow, so you’re speaking my language! 🙂 We love our dehydrator, and also use it when we get stuff in bulk. (Not sure about the squash, though…) Can’t wait to see your canning adventures. I’m already thinking of all the things you could make… pear butter, pear preserves, pear sauce (like apple sauce)…

    FWIW, I find canning to be super messy when using the pressure canner instead of the water bath, so I’d recommend just water bath canning this stuff. Or if you do pressure can your pear products, leave more headroom than you think you need. Please report back!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Nice! Frozen squash cubes would be nice for soups and stews 🙂 Haha, if I didn’t can yesterday I maybe would’ve just done the water bath after reading your comment, but I did the pressure canning and it went really well. No mess or spillage or leaks whatsoever! I had an experienced canner friend helping, though…so maybe that did the trick haha 🙂 I’ll post about it on Wednesday! 🙂

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      • our next life says:

        Glad to know it wasn’t super messy — please do share, then! Maybe I have done something wrong when pressure canning — or maybe it’s the fact that I have to run it so much longer because we’re at altitude. :-S

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mrs. DTG says:

          That could be it. Do you tighten the rings on pretty tightly or just barely finger tight where they’re easy to open? I thought I was supposed to do the latter, but my friend told me to tighten pretty tightly, so we did that and had no problem.

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  3. Claudia @ Two Cup House says:

    I LOVE using our dehydrator for our bulk fruit purchases! And I also love running the dehydrator while I’m at work–it’s so much more convenient than using the oven. Haven’t tried canning yet, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Dried mango is one of my favorites! 🙂 Although I must say that the majority of the time my dehydrator is running, it is filled with soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds. I tried plantains one time and they were horrible. I love plantain chips and really anything plantain, but the dehydrated variety was like stale cardboard 😦 unless I did it wrong. What’s your favorite fruit to dehydrate?

      Like

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