Dried Pears and Apple Sauce

dried pearsEasy, delicious and useful – these words are my guardian angels when choosing how to best preserve my harvest. There are many enticing sounding recipes out there and it’s easy to get seduced into fancy complicated preserves which don’t ever get used. The simplest preserving is storing the fruit/ vegetable whole; and the next is drying it. Dried pears and apples are easy (tick), delicious (tick) and very useful (tick)! Here’s how:

Dried Pears

  1. Peel pears (you don’t need to peel apples).
  2. Make a bowl of acid water by adding 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 litre of water.
  3. Set your mandolin up on top of this bowl and slice away so the fruit falls into the acid water. This stops it browning.
  4. Drain
  5. Lay the fruit out so it’s not touching on the shelves of your dehydrator of choice. An electric one needs to be set at 55 degrees. Check after 6 hours to see that there is no moisture remaining. It takes about 2 days in the solar dehydrator and 8 hours in the electric one.
  6. Store in your cool dark pantry in a sterilised jar.

Apple sauce

It’s just so helpful to have 2 cup portions of apple sauce in the freezer. A great way to use up all the blemished or bird pecked apples and useful in so many ways: muffins and cakes, pie and crumble, Sunday morning pancakes, on roast pork or in yoghurt for breakfast. I make it plain then tasty it up to suit once thawed – adding a bit of zest or sugar or honey or spices.

  1. Peel your apples if you must, but you really don’t have to. Faced with kilos of apples to process this is a fabulous shortcut. Wash them well if you don’t peel.
  2. Chop them up. I stand the whole apple on the chopping board and cut it into four chunks around the core then toss the chunks into the pot and the core into the pig bucket. For every four apples I add the juice of half an orange, but if you don’t have oranges a splash of water is fine.
  3. Cook on a low heat
  4. Whizz it up with the stick blender, et voila ready to freeze.