Oven-Dried Pears for Roasted Meats, Game, and Poultry

Whenever a recipe calls for fruit to accompany meat, game, and poultry (like duck with pears), this is the best way I know to bring out the flavors of the fruit, giving a commercial product a whole new lease on life as if it were ripe fruit fresh from a farm in Oregon or Long Island. The process is oven drying, slowly evaporating all that Colorado River irrigation water from the fruit without cooking it.

Ingredients

  • 4 pears
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 300Β°F.

Slice the pears in half lengthwise. Rub each half with a pinch of salt.

Put parchment paper on a tray just large enough to hold the pears and pour the sugar on the paper. There should be a 1/16-inch layer. Put the pear halves cut side down on the sugar and bake for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Hard Sekel pears, for example, take 1ΒΌ hours.

As soon as the pears are cool enough to handle, remove the cores and stems, and proceed with any recipe that calls for the fruit as a garnish.

Variation

Oven-Dried Fruit

Do the same thing with halved apples, peeled pineapple, quinces, plums, apricots (especially, since they tend to be the most ruined by growers), peaches, and figs.

,