Say what? Yup, you can dehydrate canned pears – any canned fruit can be dehydrated! You may wonder why you would want to dehydrate fruit that is already canned for long term storage.
I can only tell you why I do it. In summer I can my own pears to ensure I have plenty for the off-season time.
These make a delicious pudding and make the best pear version of the humble apple pie. However, they do not make good lunchtime snacks for the kid’s lunch boxes and they do not make good road trip snacks at all.
Canned fruit require a stable table and chairs for the little ones, and the driver of the car would never be able to snack on them safely. But boy are they tasty.
Dehydrated canned fruit can also take up less space in your pantry and is a convenient way to use up any leftover canned pears when the fruit come back in season (this never happens in my house) so that your canned goods are always fresh.
Because of the sweetness and syrup from canning, dehydrated canned pears are so yummy! Canning pears preserves them for longer, 18 to 24 months; whereas dehydrated pears last 12 to 18 months.
However, if pear season is coming up and you have left over cans from last season you can dehydrate the left-over cans making your pears last a total of plus minus 3 and ½ years.
For the best taste, we eat them within a week or 3 while they are sticky and chewy – they tend to not last that long in my house, but we can just make more as needed.
If you have spent the time canning your own fruit, you know it takes a lot of time and effort. Dehydrating them will add to this time and effort only because you have already spent the time and effort of canning the pears, but it is well worth it.
Proper storage is important for taste and texture. But I will tell you how to store your dehydrated canned pears later in this article; first let us learn how to dehydrate canned pears.
It is really not that hard to dehydrate canned pears. But it is a bit different to canning fresh pears.
What Do You Need to Dehydrate Canned Pears?
You need your canned pears and an oven or a dehydrator with a dehydrating rack. I am going to concentrate on dehydrating in the oven as many homesteaders – and urban homesteaders – do not have dehydrators.
They can be costly and are really not needed for dehydrating anything if you have an oven.
How to Prepare Your Canned Pears
When I can pears, I cut them into halves, quarters, or cubes, all 3 methods work great for dehydrating.
To start with, you need to do the obvious, drain the juice from the pears and rinse them in water.
The smaller or thinner the fruit the better. It will dehydrate much quicker if it is in thin slices.
Place the pears with the cut side facing up on a rack or tray in the oven or dehydrator.
How to Dehydrate the Pears
You Will Need an Oven or Dehydrator, Canned Pears, and Optionally Cinnamon Sugar or Honey
If you are dehydrating your pears in a dehydrator, you will need it set to 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (57 to 60 degrees Celsius).
Place the pears in the dehydrator and leave them in for 4 hours. Then turn them over and place them back in the dehydrator for another 4 hours. If they are sticking to the tray, put them back in the dehydrator and check every 30 minutes until they are dry enough to flip.
If you are dehydrating your pears in the oven, set your oven on its lowest temperature setting – 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the tray in the oven.
Place the tray in the oven. Close the door leaving the oven slightly open to allow steam to vent.
Leave the pears in the oven for 6 hours before turning them over (if you are dehydrating your pears in the oven on a rack, turning them is not essential because the temperature will heat the top and bottom equally).
You can also line a baking sheet with wax paper or baking paper and follow the above-mentioned directions. If you have flipped them, put them back in the oven for another 6 hours.
The thicker or larger the slices the longer the cooking time in the oven. It will take a total of 12 to 14 hours in the oven. If you are dehydrating thicker chunks, it may take longer. If it is tacky and sticks to the rack or paper, you should leave it in the oven for a bit longer.
You can keep dehydrating until the fruit is the texture that you want it to be. The longer it is in the oven the less chewy it will be. If you leave the pears in the oven until fully dehydrated, they will be more like chips (a very healthy option if you are health-conscious).
Leave the pears on their trays in the open air until they are 100% cool before storing them.
How to Store Your Dried Pears
Always store your dry pears in an airtight container. This is important as it will affect the length of time they will last.
Store them in a cool, dry place. A dark kitchen cupboard, a bottom shelf in a dark pantry, or a container that is not see-through all work. You can also use zip lock bags if you have a good, dark, cool spot for them.
If you make a bulk amount or if you just want your dried pears to last longer, vacuum pack them and freeze them.
I sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon and sugar (just a bit) to add to the flavor. It is decadent!
While You Can Dehydrate Your Canned Pears After Rinsing Them, Or Straight from the Can, I Like to Sprinkle a Little Bit of Cinnamon and Sugar on Them to Make the Pears Even More Irresistible
If you leave a little moisture in the dehydrated pears (to make them chewy) you should eat them within 3 to 7 days as the moisture may cause the pears to go off – again, completely normal in my snack-thirsty house.
If you want pear chips, slice the canned pear into thin slices and leave them in the oven or dehydrator longer until they are completely dry.
For a different but equally decadent taste, drain the juice and rinse the pears thoroughly. Mix ½ cup of sugar and 1 ½ cups of hot water.
When the sugar water has cooled down to be lukewarm, add ½ cup of honey and soak the pears for 3 – 5 minutes. Drain the juice off the pears, do not rinse the pears, and put the pears in the dehydrator or oven.
To prevent your pears from turning brown when dehydrated, spray them lightly with lemon juice before dehydrating.
Rehydrating the Pears
Rehydrating them is as simple as this:
- Use enough boiling water to cover the fruit and a little extra
- Within +/- 20 minutes, your pears will look and taste exactly like they did before you rehydrated them
Step 1. Place Your Dehydrated Pears in a Heat Resistant Bowl
Step 2. Soak them in boiled water (water from a kettle).
Use just enough to cover the pears:
Soak your dehydrated pears for 15 to 25 minutes until they are plump and soft and look like they are fresh from the can:
Get busy dehydrating! With a little luck for your kids, maybe you will resist the temptation to eat every last piece. Other mouths will also love these treats!
Send your kids to school with a healthier treat than crisps or sweets. Often kids avoid the apple or pear or other fruit you pack for them.
But dehydrated they cannot leave one piece behind. Pears that are dehydrated, especially canned pears, are so sweet and tasty that your kids will not be able to resist them.
Dehydrating your canned pears reduces the space needed in the pantry.
Di-Anne Devenish Seebregts was raised in an environment where daily life consisted of hiking, environmental conservation, growing fruit and vegetables, and raising poultry for meat and eggs.
She combined her passion for the writing word with her love of the pride that comes with not relying on others. She raised three children (who are now adults) to value the environment, and understand the value of being self-sufficient.