|Prune Plums After|
Method by Robin
In autumn, a young woman’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…prunes? OK, I made that up. Since I’m no longer a young woman, how would I know? But a middle aged woman who spies the last of the season’s prune plums at her favorite natural foods store…that I can speak to. Prunes make are a naturally sweet snack that’s a fun way to enjoy fruit in winter. Don’t believe me? How about if they’re preserved in brandy afterwards? Dipped in chocolate? But I digress…
|Prune Plums Before|
|Step 1: Halve and Remove Pits|
|Step 2: Turn "Inside Out"|
Prune plums differ from most other plum species in that they separate easily from their pits. Use other varieties at your own risk. And remember, if you make your own prunes, it’s only a couple more steps to preserve them in brandy for holiday gift-giving. Or do what Polish candy companies do: dip them in chocolate for holiday treats.
makes about 8 oz.
~3 lbs. Ripe Prune Plums
Cut plums in half and remove pits.
Turn each half “inside out” by pressing the middle of the skin side to expose more fleshy inner surface. This allows the plums to dry faster. Not all halves will hold this exact shape, but breaking up the surface will allow air to contact more of the fruit’s surface.
Load plums onto dehydrator mesh trays, or onto baking sheets, skin side down. Keep at least ½ inch apart.
Put trays in dehydrator, or sheets in convection oven. Turn dehydrator or oven on at 135 degrees F.
Check after about 10 hours. If they’re sticking to mesh or sheets, pull them off and reposition them. This increases air circulation. Do not turn them over.
If still fairly moist, dehydrate for another 8 hours or so. When they start to look dry, check them every hour until done.
My total drying time was 19 ½ hours, plus 8 hours on a warm sun porch. Dehydrator literature indicates that without the break dehydration takes 22-30 hours, depending upon size and water content of the plums and how many are dehydrated at once.