I came across a recipe for pear chips dusted with cocoa powder mixed with sugar and some spices, and decided to make a trial batch of the chips without the 2 tablespoons of cocoa since I'm not a big cocoa fan. Kids would probably love these pear chips WITH the cocoa!
The recipe called for baking in a 275ºF oven, but our oven is non-functioning at the moment. (My sister ran the self-clean cycle and now the door won't open. She'll have to get a repair man out since I've tried every trick I could find online.)
I sliced just one peeled and cored pear on the mandoline, and spread the slices out on a dehydrator tray as a trial run.
I mixed 3 Tbs. sugar, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves and 1/2 tsp. galangal* together and lightly dusted the slices. Maybe should have left out the cloves? Note added later: No, I won't change the spice mix; it's tasty and subtle just as it is!
(*Galangal is ground from the rhizome of blue ginger. The flavor is similar to ginger, but more flowery with less peppery heat and a lingering intensity.)
Of course, I didn't think to put a cookie sheet under the dehydrator tray, so now I have a sugary mess all over the counter in addition to what actually landed on the slices. What a dunce!
Since I'm making this up (with no oven) as I go along, I put the tray in the dehydrator at the highest heat setting for an hour. Then I'll turn it down to about 135ºF until they are fully dry but still somewhat pliable. They will get stored in mason jars in the pantry but probably won't last very long anyway if they are as tasty as they smell!
|Spiced Pears on left, plain dehydrated pears on the right|
Update: The spiced pear chips are really yummy, but a little too sweet for my taste. (These particular pears are exceptionally sweet and juicy, more so than the ones from my other neighbor. Even the Belgian Pears I made with no sugar added are pretty sweet.) I'm dehydrating a few pears with the spice dusting sans sugar, and also dehydrating several trays of just plain pear slices.
These are the pears I dried. Only the smaller jar had spiced pear chips; the others are just dried pear slices. Isn't the pattern of the core interesting on the single slice? (I sliced some of the pears across the pear rather than from stem to bottom.)
How to use spiced pear chips (other than as a snack): They would be great on a cheese tray. Put a few pieces on sliced havarti cheese with sprouts and/or bibb lettuce on a hearty bread sandwich. Add a few to a sweet potato casserole. Soak a few slices and drape over a pork loin roast, or a roast chicken. YUM!