Dried prunes are a healthy, nutrient-packed snack to complete any meal. However, dehydrating prunes at home takes a while. You can use a dehydrator or an oven to make the recipe. Then store the plums correctly. When you want to use them, they can add flavor to various dishes.
Method 1 of 3: Using the Oven
Step 1. Open the prunes to remove the pits
Cut the plums in half around the pit using a small, sharp knife. Separate the halves, remove the pit and discard it.
Use a knife small enough to handle. Large knives are not good for cutting prunes
Step 2. Place the prunes directly on the oven rack
Do not use a baking sheet. Fruits will release a lot of juice during the dehydration process. If they are on a baking sheet, they will stick to it. Leave an even space between the plums on the grill. If they stick together, the dehydration process can be affected.
Since this can make a big mess on the oven bottom, put something there to collect the juice. Some people just put aluminum foil in the bottom of the oven. But aluminum can melt and that doesn't work for gas ovens. Line a shape with aluminum foil and place under the plums
Step 3. Turn the oven on at 90°C
Leave the oven at the lowest possible temperature. In most ovens, 90°C is the minimum. If yours is different, put the lowest one you have.
Place the grill in the oven slowly so as not to dislodge the prunes
Step 4. Look at the plums every hour
After a few hours, turn them over so they dry out evenly. See also how the dehydration process is going. They should be a little soft and juicy, but dry enough to be wrinkled and dark.
It also depends on your preference. Some people prefer drier plums while others prefer juicier plums. Do not take them out of the oven until they reach the desired state
Step 5. Leave them in the oven for about eight hours
Even though most plums are done after this time, it's important to be careful. Some will be ready sooner and others will need more time.
The plums will be ready at different times. Take them off as soon as you see them ready
Method 2 of 3: Using a Dehydrator
Step 1. Cut the plums and remove the pits
Take out the cable. Then cut the plum in half around the pit hole using a sharp notch knife.
- Separate the plum halves. Take out the lump and discard it.
- If you don't have a notch knife, use another sharp knife. However, avoid large knives. The plums are small and you need to have knife control when cutting around the pit.
Step 2. Place the prunes in the dehydrator tray
Keep them close together so you don't have to do two hauls. But don't let them get together. This is important for the air to circulate well, which ensures correct dehydration.
Step 3. Place the tray in the dehydrator
Dehydrate foods at 46°C in a conventional dehydrator. However, some dehydrators work at 62°C.
- Before placing the prunes in the dehydrator, check the temperature.
- Slowly place the tray in the dehydrator to prevent the prunes from slipping out of place.
Step 4. Check the plums every four to six hours
They need to be turned at some point to complete the dehydration process. Look every four or six hours to see if they are ready to be turned.
- When they're ready to turn, the top side will be very dry. They will easily come out of the tray.
- If the top side is still damp and it's not easy to loosen them, wait a little longer to turn the prunes over.
Step 5. When starting to remove the prunes, check every two hours
They will be ready at different times. When you notice that some are completely dry, the process is over. They must be removed from the dehydrator. After that, start looking every two hours as they will be close to being ready.
Step 6. Let the prunes dehydrate for 14 hours
They need about 14 hours to completely dehydrate. However, they can take more or less time, depending on the quality of the fruit. That's why it's necessary to look at the prunes regularly during the process. When they are completely dehydrated, they will turn black, wrinkled and look like raisins.
Method 3 of 3: Storing and Consuming Prune
Step 1. Store your plums correctly
They must be kept in an airtight container. A sturdy plastic bag will do as well.
- Store them in a cool, dark place.
- Store them in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer.
Step 2. Discard the prunes when they spoil
The validity will depend on where they are kept. Know the validity to not eat spoiled fruit.
- In the pantry or refrigerator, they last from six to 12 months.
- The freezer extends the shelf life of the plum. They last 12 to 18 months when stored in the freezer.
Step 3. Place prunes in fillings
If it's close to Christmas, prunes are a great ingredient to add to your turkey stuffing. When sauteing other stuffing ingredients, such as garlic and onion, add the prunes, too. Cook everything together for a few minutes and then remove the mixture from the heat.
Dried plums add a mild sweet flavor to the filling, which gives a special touch to fillings that only have savory ingredients
Step 4. Serve stuffed prunes as an appetizer
Stuff them with cheese to make a savory and sweet appetizer. Cut them in half and place the cheese inside them.
Stuffed plums make great snacks for elegant dinners
Step 5. Garnish a pot meat with prunes
They are good with beef. Plums (and other garnishes) are usually placed around the middle of the cooking process. Consult your recipe to see if this is safe, which will depend on the type of meat you are preparing.
- Dried prunes can also be used in stews or meat sauces. Their intense flavor goes well with beef.
- If you're preparing chicken or pork, mix the prunes with a reduction of apple or orange juice to make a sweet complement.