Candied Pear Slices

posted by Pat T 10-20-98 11:44 AM

Candied Pear Slices

4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced firm-ripe pears, cut into six segments each (about 2-1/2 pounds before preparation)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
Extra fine granulated sugar for coating (buy it or make it in food processor)

As you prepare pear segments, drop them into the mixed water and lemon juice in a wide stainless-steel or enameled skillet or pan. Simmer till fruit is just tender, drain carefully, reserving liquid.

Measure 1 cup of the cooking liquid and mix it in the wide pan with the corn syrup and the sugar. Boil until the syrup spins a short thread (bit of syrup tipped from a spoon over the pan forms filament 2-3 inches long, instead of dripping from the spoon). Add pears and cook at a simmer until the slices are translucent. Remove from heat and shake the pan occasionally as the fruit cools, then cover. Let stand overnight in the syrup.

Drain syrup off the fruit and boil it again until it forms a short thread. Return the pears to the pan and bring to a boil, then set the pan aside and let the fruit cool, shaking the pan occasionally. The syrup should be quite thick by now. If not, remove the fruit and reboil the syrup until it spins a short thread. Return the fruit and let it cool in the syrup.

Lift the pear slices with a fork onto a cake rack covered with cheesecloth. Let them dry in a turned-off oven heated only by a pilot light, or in another warm, dry spot, until they are no longer moist but still pliant. After several hours, drying can be speeded up by moving the slices onto another, uncovered rack.

When almost dry, sprinkle on both sides with extra-fine sugar, which will speed the drying somewhat. Complete the drying. Store the candied pears in a closed plastic or cardboard box in layers separated by waxed paper.

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