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Making Prunes

September 21st, 2010

I prefer dried fruit over canned fruit for many reasons, the main one being the ease of making it. I love that there’s no sugar syrup, jars, or boiling water. All you have to do is provide some dry heat and you’ll end up with some lovely fruit that will keep in the cupboard for months. So far this summer I’ve been able to dry 2 gallons of dried cherries, one gallon of dried pears (pearsins we call them) and I’m currently working on drying some prunes.

I was able to score a bushel of plums at the local farm store and they’re quite tasty. They’re not prune plums, just regular old plums, but they still dry beautifully into delicious prunes. I have a small dehydrator, but I prefer to use the bread proofing setting on my oven as I can do a huge batch at once. It does take a while, but the reward is quite wonderful. I usually put them in the oven overnight for a few nights.

I pitted them this year, which I didn’t do last year. I think next year I’ll leave the pits in as I prefer the way they dry without the cut, they seem to be softer. Mr Chiots is excited as he loves dried plums. I enjoy them, but I much prefer dried pears or dried cherries.

What’s your favorite dried fruit?

17 Comments to “Making Prunes”
  1. Corrie on September 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been wanting to try prunes, but haven’t yet. Everything I read says not just any plum can become a prune– is that not really true? Also, for the pears, how big did you make your chunks/slices? Did you dip the fruit in anything?

    Reply to Corrie's comment

    • Susy on September 21, 2010 at 9:09 am

      I’ve used 3-4 different varieties of plums to make prunes so far. As for the pears I usually cut them in quarters unless they’re big then in 6ths or 8ths. I don’t dip them in anything, they brown a little, but I don’t mind that.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. warren on September 21, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I love figs! I wouldn’t have dreamed of it as a kid, but I could eat them every day now! I know a lady with a fig bush too…mmmmmm!

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on September 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Oh I love them too. I have 2 fig trees and hope they start producing next year.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Kelly on September 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Apples! I love dried apples so very much and can never find them. Now that it’s apple season I’m definitely going to make myself a bunch. I’d never dried anything before this year when I dried my thai peppers and those were so easy I’m eager to try new stuff. I love prunes, too. Hubby and youngest love apricots, but I never see them around here, whole.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  4. Rhonda on September 21, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I like dried pineapple. I’m allergic to it and can’t have it fresh or canned, but for some reason if it’s cooked or if it’s dried, I don’t have a problem with it.

    Oh — DATES. I looooooove dates.

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  5. Chris on September 21, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Eeeeee…. we never say “prune!” It’s a dried plum! I love dried plums, but I love dried cherries even better.


    Reply to Chris's comment

  6. nic@nipitinthebud on September 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I really like mango but it’s a couple of quid for a tiny bag so it’s a rare treat. I have a friend who eats mostly raw and she dries her own fruit in a dehydrator. The most amazing fruit was watermelon. So tasty and a lovely brittle yet melt in the mouth texture. Very well worth trying if you have the equipment (which sadly I don’t)

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

    • Stephanie Morimoto on September 21, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Wow…never heard of dried watermelon. That sounds amazing. My favorite, similar to Rhonda above, are dates.

      Reply to Stephanie Morimoto's comment

  7. melissa on September 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    My favorite is DEFINITELY prunes. It’s bad because I always way to eat WAY more than is good for my digestive system.

    Reply to melissa's comment

  8. Melanie on September 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    mmm…cherries! Definitely my favorites! I’ve never tried drying anything and don’t have a dehydrator, but you make it sound so easy! I may have to look into it and stop being such a chicken ;-) Dried apples are also at the top of my list, and since this is the season, perhaps that will be my first attempt!

    Reply to Melanie's comment

  9. Marcia on September 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I`ve never liked dried fruit, not as a kid, not now. I would cringe when my mom would take the dehydrater out because I knew I would soon end up with withered apple slices in my school lunch. They just seem like sad versions of themselves, like they cried themselves out. Might be a romantic take on it but that is how I feel.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  10. queen of string on September 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I managed to pick up a deydrator at the thrift store and have had some fun drying things this summer. My OH is super fussy about fruit to eat raw, so it’s been a great way to use up those fruits he has decided are inedible due to being in the fridge too long. Apples dried until they are crisp are my fave. I have also done plums, blueberries and tomatoes. I have been using the fruit in muffins mostly, after a little soaking in hot water or tea. I have put some of the tomatoes in oil, following a DK recipe, having received their preserving book as a gift. Now someone has mentioned pineapple, I know exactly what’s going to happen to the half that’s lingering in the fridge!!

    Reply to queen of string's comment

  11. Peggy on September 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    All dehydrating! I can’t even begin to come up with a favorite… apple crisps, bananas, strawberries, cherries, pears, tomatoes, carrot crisps (all so delicious!) I can hardly wait for apples as we have a friend with red delicious trees (over 20!). We just bought a new dehydrater as our old one could not keep up with the quantity we dry. Right now we have pears and the last of the tomatoes waiting to dry… soon to be followed by grapes.

    Reply to Peggy's comment

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  13. michael 'hazeltree' thompson on September 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Hi, excellent article, i was wondering how long and at what temperature you left your plums in the oven overnight as this seems a good way of doing it…

    Reply to michael ‘hazeltree’ thompson's comment

    • Susy on September 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I have a bread proof setting on my oven that keeps it at about 100 degrees.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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