Sweet, buttery and succulent, pears are the ultimate compliment to salads, sandwiches and cheese platters. But once you slice them, how do you keep them from turning brown?
Unfortunately, browning is inevitable. It happens when oxygen hits the cut fruit. Lemon juice can help slow down the browning and keep your fruit looking bright and delicious. To keep the inevitable discoloration at bay, mix a light solution of water and lemon juice (strain the lemon juice before adding to the water). A little goes a long way: For several pears, a ¼ cup of water and three tablespoons of lemon juice is plenty.
There are many foodie and fruit websites that offer varying measurements of lemon and water. Some use less and some use more. These are the proportions that we found slowed down the browning process without adding too much lemon flavor to the fruit. The lemony solution will add a subtle tart flavor to your initial bite, but the sweetness of the pear will come through beautifully.
Slice your pears and place in a fine sieve. Use a basting brush to add just a touch of the solution to your fruit. For best results, brush the lemon solution all the way to the peel. Remove from the sieve and arrange the pears as you wish. (The sieve is optional, but helps you keep the lemon-water solution off other foods—like cheese or crackers—that don’t taste good when they’re wet!)