Dried Pears Recipe

Poires Séchées

[Dried Pears]

I oven-dry tomatoes all through late summer, when I can lay my hands on cheap and tasty specimens, and I like to apply that method to pears in the fall, too: the drying sublimates the pear flavor into a hauntingly sweet concentrate of itself. This does mean it is a good way to cut your losses on below-average pears, but for superb results you should of course use superb pears. The technique works best with fruits that are ripe but firm and not too juicy, so they will retain their shape and not drip all over the floor of your oven.

Not only are dried pears easy to make and delicious, but the resulting strips are also surprisingly versatile: they can be eaten as a simple snack (their texture, crisp at first but gradually turning chewy in your mouth, makes them quite satisfying), they can be served with cheese (especially washed rind and blue cheeses) or game birds, they can be added to scones, oatmeal cookies, and granolas, and they enter the preparation of berawecka, a dried fruit loaf that is traditionally made for Christmas in Alsace. And in my opinion, they make very pretty edible gifts, too.

My latest batch was made with Louise-Bonne pears, a variety I’d never seen or heard of before: these pears were tiny, their skin green and lightly freckled with yellow, their off-white flesh fragrant and acidulated, and they played along remarkably well in the drying game. (Check back on Friday to see what I did with them.)

Poires Séchées

2 large or 4 small pears, ripe but firm

Preheat the oven to 80°C (175°F) and grease an oven rack with vegetable oil.

Rinse and dry the pears. Core them while still whole using an apple corer or an old-fashioned vegetable peeler. Cut the pears in thin slices all along their length with a sharp serrated knife, so that each slice is round with a hole in the middle like a big flat polo mint.

Arrange the slices on the prepared rack in a single layer (it’s okay if the slices touch, but they shouldn’t overlap) and bake for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, flipping the slices halfway through, until light brown and completely dry. Let cool completely and keep in a tin box at room temperature.

Tagged:
  • http://gnocchietcie.canalblog.com Liliy

    Mmmmm! Super idée!

  • http://www.assiettesduchef.canalblog.com chantal33

    It looks seriously pretty!

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/tea_cantata/ nattie

    Mmmmmm! Further investigation (yay Wikipedia) into Beerawecka reveals that it’s the same thing as Hutzelbrot, which is a speciality from my bit of Germany – lovely stuff; I think this year I shall make some! Thanks, Clotilde!

  • http://www.epicurien.be Laurent

    It’s a very interesting technique. Pourcel’s brother are also using this technique with any kind of vegetables (onions, salad…) and i ve already tasted, it’s greaaaaat and surprising

  • http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com ParisBreakfasts

    The Tea Box at the NY Takashimaya has 6 dried pears in a clear celaphane bag tied with a ribbon…they have been dipped half-way into DARK CHOCOLATE!! And to die for. Thank you for reminding me Clotilde. I must go get some again soon :)

  • http://sugar-queens-dream.blogspot.com/ Judy B

    I just love your blog I have read and read and will continue to do so as much as I can. Your wonderful pictures and the delightful readings gives me many hours of pleasure. Have a grand day !

    I think the pear idea is a great one , after all they do this to apples and thats a good thing, so why not pears?

  • http://tricoquine.blogs.com Stefanie

    I saw Louise Bonne for the first time this year at the Richard Lenoir market. And yes, they are delicious

  • amanda

    mmm! i have been enjoying dried pears all autumn! yours look spectacular!

  • http://www.lamaisonnettedebarbichounette.com barbichounette

    C’est dommage, je suis nule en anglais …..La recette était pour moi, je rêve d’en faire !!!!!
    Bizzzzzzzzzzzz
    Barbichounette

  • Becca

    Looks délicieux! Any advice on how to adapt this recipe to other fruits? DO apple chips, for example, have the same cooking time? What other fruits make good fruits séchées? Merci!

  • http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com Luisa

    Fantastic! What a great idea. I’m going to try this out soon.

  • http://natureskitchen.blogspot.com The Anonymous Mama

    Wow! What a gorgeous blog. The pears look wonderful – I’ve got to try these. Just discovered this blog – I’ve got some digging to do!

  • http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/ Dianka

    What a simple and wonderful idea! I love dried fruit and I can imagine how well this works with pears. I’ll have to try it!

  • http://elegantsufficiency.typepad.com Stephanie

    Cool idea… especially as most of the pears I buy are disappointing….

  • Your Friendly Grammar Police

    It’s interesting to learn that you are able to buy a variety of English pear. I’m not sure what the alternative word would be, but when you are slicing the pear into rounds, I wouldn’t say you’re cutting it lengthwise. Quite the opposite, but “widthwise” is not the right word, is it? I would call long slices of the entire pear from plump bottom to tapered stem “lengths.”

  • Your Friendly Amateur Fruit Historian

    Oops. I was sorely mistaken in calling the French pear English. I found a Web site that uses the name “Louise Bonne of Jersey,” but notes the origins of the pear are Norman, circa 1780. It was introduced to the UK via the Channel Island of Jersey much later than William the Conqueror came ashore. I do not know how accurate the information is.

  • http://www.gottula.com Sharon

    I think it would simply be said at least in the USA as cutting the pears across.

  • http://passionatenonchalance.com aria

    hi clotilde, yay pears! i posted pear cupcakes w/ candied pears on top today, must be a pear day http://passionatenonchalance.com/

    cant wait to read you book, the cover is awesome!!

  • Drea

    Simplicity is so beautiful…How long do you ‘dry’ your tomatoes?

    Your posts never cease to inspire me.

    Merci beaucoup!

  • http://www.foodsource-krista.blogspot.com krista

    Dried pears sounds great!

  • http://bluekitchen.wordpress.com Terry B

    I must tell you, when I first saw the photo, I thought the slices had been fried–which also sounds delicious. But these are obviously better for you and sound fabulous. Regarding getting uniform slices, would a mandoline work well?

  • Dilyana

    Dear Clothilde,
    I have been a fan of yours for a long time but only now I’m speaking up. Being a European expat living in the Silicon Valley (not far from where you lused to live) I fill my daily longing for the Old World through you. So Merci Beaucoup!
    I was surprised though to hear that tasty tomatoes are hard to find in France. I’ve always thought that being a culinary mammoth, it would have an abundace of delicious tomatoes. At least my country, Bulgaria, whose culinary traditions are far more modest, has markets full of fresh, tasty and inexpensive produce. This is one of the things I miss most in the US.

  • http://www.blueVicar.com blueVicar

    I’m out and about looking for stories about the election from the expatriate view. I’ll put links to what I find on my blog…but I just had to stop by and see what’s cooking. I’m never disappointed! Dried pears–what a great idea!

    Meilleurs vœux!

  • http://www.serriste.de/foodblog Anne

    Gee, I wonder if it’s time for me to finally buy an apple corer.

    I’m usually not a big fan of pears, don’t know why that is, but it looks so lovely I’m tempted to try it nevertheles.

    Would it work with apples, too? Any advice for that?

  • http://www.beccaandbella.typepad.com/ Becca

    I always thought I neede a special piece of equipment to dry fruits and vegetables. I delighted to learn that I can do that in the oven. Another weekend project … and congratulations on your new book due out soon. That is so exciting. It will certainly be on my Christmas list.

  • http://www.littlefoodies.blogspot.com foodiemama

    yumm!

  • Judy

    Clothilde, what do you mean by an oven grid? The oven rack/shelf? If so, don’t the pear slices fall down, especially when you flip them?

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Parisbreakfasts – Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to try the chocolate-dipping next time!

    Barbichounette – Traduction express pour toi: retire le coeur des poires, coupe-les en tranches fines, mets-les sur une grille de four, et laisse sécher 4h environ à 80°C…

    Becca, Anne – This would work for apples, pineapples, mangoes — any kind of fruit really. As for the drying time, it depends on the water content of the fruit, and the best advice I can give is to just keep an eye on the slices and trust your instincts.

    Judy – Yes, oven grids and oven racks are the same thing. The pear slices won’t fall down if you’re careful and if the slices are larger than the spaces in your rack.

  • http://kitchenchick.com Kitchen Chick

    I have a convection oven (four de convection? is that the same thing). Do you know how much using convection reduces the cooking time?

  • http://urbanvegan.blogpost.com urban vegan

    Great idea. I bet they would be great on salads, with a sweet-sour dressing.

  • Miriam

    I tried these today and they were delicious — between my husband and myself, we’ve already polished them all off. I baked them on a baking tray, for just 3 1/2 hours, and that was enough.

  • http://www.tarzile.com Tarzile

    Clothilde

    Je constate que tu n’utilises pas de jus de citron, ou d’acide citrique ou d’acide ascorbique pour préserver la couleur.

    Tes tranches, tu les conserves durant combien de temps? Bon, j’imagine qu’elles ne restent pas sur les tablettes longtemps…

  • http://www.xanga.com/chef_kayenne kayenne

    would there be any concern about (too much) oxidation? would tossing the slices in a bit of lemon juice help? or is the difference negligible? thanks!

  • http://www.thesaturdayeveningpot.com/ The Lucky Wife/Anne

    So glad to have discovered your blog and to find this recipe! Our family has food sensitivities so have to monitor how much of a number of foods we get, but pears…. we can have as much of those as we want and my little ones love fruit. Congratulations on your new addition!

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