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

Whenever a recipe calls for fruit to accompany meat, game, or poultry (as in 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 salt
  • 1 cup sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

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 spread the sugar on the paper. There should be a -inch layer. Put the pear halves cut side down on the sugar and bake for 1 hour. Remove, take the core and stem out of the pears, and proceed with any recipe using the fruit as a garnish.

Variation

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