Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pear Bounty

This funny looking floppy doughnut shape is one of my first attempts at making pear roll-ups.  Don't worry, it tastes much better than it looks! 

The big old pear tree in our front yard, while not as overloaded as last year, still had more pears than I could handle.  

Picking the pears this year was made easier by the handy fruit picker basket that Jamie gave me.  

It fits nicely on the end of the swimming pool skimmer pole, and can hold two or three pears at a time.  The claw like pieces that stick up are handy for popping the pear off the branch, although it's also easy to pop the whole branch off if I get too rough with it.  

What to do with all this pear bounty?  I like to make jam, but I haven't mustered up the energy to gather up, and figure out where to store, my canning gear, which is still at our old house.  Since Tamara had good luck drying pear slices last year, I ordered a food dehydrator and though I would give it a try too.  

In the meantime though, we've been eating pear pies.  Healthy, and easy, pear pies, even.  I haven't nailed down the perfect recipe yet, but I've been enjoying the luxury of having enough pears to get experimental.  I melted butter in the bottom of the pie plate, then mixed in almond four and pecan pieces to make a nutty crust layer on the bottom.  I loaded in as many pear slices as possible, and then pour an egg mixture over that.  Pears, nuts, eggs, and butter - what could be healthier?!  For this one, I mixed a quarter cup of sucanat and a half a can of coconut milk with the eggs, and sprinkled raisins and coconut flakes on top.  It smelled like warm sun-tan lotion, and Brandon liked eating it just about as much as if that was one of the ingredients!  I might title this one A Pie of My Very Own.  

Once the dehydrator arrived, and I got motivated to unpack it from it's box, I decided the easiest thing to do was to cut out the pear cores and bug holes, and put them in the blender and make fruit roll ups.     

I just poured the blended pears onto roll up trays I greased with coconut oil, spread it around with a spoon, and turned the dehydrator on over night.    

The instructions said it takes four to eight hours for fruit roll ups, but I left mine in for almost ten hours.  They looked brown when I opened the lid.  

But, they still have that flexible texture that I expected of a fruit roll up.  And, they taste good too, like pears.  I offered some to a friend and told him that I made them out of blended pears.  He said "I can really taste the pear in this!" Ha!    

I didn't get fancy with rolling them, I just pulled the circles apart in quarters, and put them in a zip lock bag.  They are almost gone, so I think this is a pretty good way to use up some of the pear glut.  Maybe I'll try some slices too, now that I'm inspired by this success.  

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