Best Ways to Dry Plums at Home

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Quick Answer: How to Dry Plums at Home

You can dry your plums under direct tropical sunlight if you reside in such areas. However, sun-drying plums consume a lot of time. This is why you can opt for drying them in a food dehydrator or an oven.

Plums, which have a few species belonging to the Prunus family, are generally consumed fresh like a dessert fruit.

They are known for treating heart disease, reducing anxiety levels, and incorporate antioxidants as well.

Dried plums are termed prunes and are consumed for the numerous health benefits they provide.

Are you looking for techniques to dry plum at home and making your own prunes? There are several ways to do so.

But how do you pick the best choice when there are too many? Don’t worry; we’ve put in hours of testing and practice to develop three simple ways to dry plums at home.

How to Dry Plums Using Sun-Drying

Time needed: 4 days.

Dry plums under direct sunlight to get prunes within 4 to 5 days. This is the simplest and easiest method there is.

Optimum temperature: Sunlight

  1. What will you need?

    1. Plums
    2. Cooling racks
    3. Baking sheets
    4. Cheesecloth
    5. Foil

  2. Wash the Fruit

    To prepare plums, thoroughly wash them and cut any remaining stems.

  3. Cut the Plum

    Slice the fruit in half like you would with an avocado, with a paring knife cutting till before the blade reaches the pit.

    Twist the halves of the plum in opposite directions.

  4. Remove the Pit

    Ensure that you remove the seed from the other half; if it doesn’t come out easily, gently cut the flesh close to the pit with the tip of your knife before you can separate them.

  5. Arrange the Plums

    Any frame that allows air to circulate freely around the plums will suffice. Place the plums on the shelves.

    Leave enough space between the plum halves for air to circulate freely around them.

  6. Make use of Foil

    To retain the juiciness of the plums as they dehydrate, place a piece of foil underneath the racks.

    Put cheesecloth loosely over the racks to keep bugs away from the plums.

  7. Dry the Plums

    Place the cookie sheets where the sun would be able to shine directly on the plums.

    Humidity levels should be less than 60%. A pleasant breeze will hasten the drying process.

  8. Check your Fruit

    Every so often, turn the plum halves to ensure that each side dries evenly. Every night, bring the trays.

    The dried plums should be wrinkled and leathery in appearance but not rough.

    There should be no moisture beads inside the fruit if you split the halves open.

    The skins and flesh will be darker than fresh plums.

Dry Plums Using an Oven

Time taken: 3 hours

Optimum temperature: 250 degrees Fahrenheit

What will you need?

  • Plums
  • Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Baking sheet

 

Instead of having to wait around for a few days, you can dry your plums using an oven.
It’s quick and evenly dries them within 3 hours.

Wash the Fruit

To prepare plums, thoroughly wash them and cut any remaining stems.

Cut the Plum

Slice it in half with a paring knife or a thin, serrated tomato knife, following the natural seam and cutting only before the blade reaches the pit.

Twist the plum in opposite directions in both hands; if the fruits are freestone, one-half should pop away from the trap.

Remove the Pit

Ensure that you remove the seed from the other half; if it doesn’t come out easily, gently cut the flesh close to the pit with the tip of your knife before you can separate them.

Cut each half into four pieces or chop into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks for faster drying or if your plums are large.

Preheat your Oven

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the Plums

Place them with the cut sides up on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about an inch apart.

Set the Oven

Set 3 hours in the oven to bake. Switch off the oven and leave the plums inside for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When finished, the plums will be wrinkled but still juicy. The plums should be flexible and springy in the thickest section, with no moisture.

If the parts feel mushy rather than springy, they are not dry enough. The skins and flesh will be darker than fresh plums; the color will vary depending on the plum variety.

Dry Plums Using a Food Dehydrator

Time taken: 4 to 6 hours

What will you need?

  • Plums
  • Paring Knife

 

Dry plums in the food dehydrator to get evenly dried prunes at home.

Wash the Fruit

To prepare plums, thoroughly wash them and cut any remaining stems.

Cut the Plum

Slice the fruit in half with a paring knife or a thin, serrated tomato knife, following the natural seam and cutting only before the blade reaches the pit.

Twist the plum in opposite directions in both hands; if the fruits are freestone, one-half should pop away from the trap.

Remove the Pit

Ensure that you remove the seed from the other half; if it doesn’t come out easily, gently cut the flesh close to the pit with the tip of your knife before you can separate them.

Arrange the Plums

Place them cut-side down on the dehydrator tray for less sticking or cut-side up for less adhesion.

It’s okay if they’re crammed in tight quarters. You can watch how this is done here:

 

Dry the fruit

Dry on the lowest setting available. Check on them in 4 to 6 hours, depending on the plums’ sizes.

Turn the trays to ensure even dehydration.

Finally, flip them over until they appear to be dry; they will release from the trays when they become dryer – leave them if they are too moist.

Check your Plums

Check every 2 hours, removing and packing any that are completely dry (no moisture when touched but still pliable) and leaving the others to dry.

In the thickest area, the plums should be flexible and springy with no moisture; if sections feel mushy rather than springy, they are not dry enough.

The skins will be darker than fresh plums, with the color varying according to the plum variety.

Knowing When the Plums are Properly Dried

Prunes are supposed to be flexible and a little springy in their thickest area.
There should be no songs of moisture.

In case the prunes feel a bit moist and mushy, you need to dry them for longer.

The skin of your prunes will also vary depending on what type of plum you have dried. Darker skins portray perfectly dried plums.

The Right Way to Store Dry Plums

In pots, store the dried plums loosely. For about a week, shake the jars once a day to disperse the remaining moisture among the dried plums uniformly.

Return the plums to the dehydrator if there is some condensation on the container so they can dry out even further.

Dried plums can be stored in freezer bags as well. Get rid of as much air as possible by using freezer bags.

If you like your dried plums to have a little moisture inside them, keep them in the freezer to avoid mold formation.

If your plums are comparatively more dry, you can store them at room temperature. Select a dark, dry area of your pantry.

If you store prunes in the refrigerator or pantry, they can last 6 to 12 months without spoiling. They will last anywhere from 12 to 18 months in the freezer.

Plums That will Make Excellent Prunes When Dried

The sweet-tart flavor that everyone loves comes from Italian “prune” plums, also known as Damson plums, which are slightly tarter but still widespread and naturally drier and tarter than typical round plums.

The European plums are like small pieces of fruit leather when dried to a still pliable but completely drypoint. They can seem strange to some, but they are jam-packed with flavor.

Our Take on which Method is Best

You can dry your plums under direct tropical sunlight if you reside in such areas. You would not require any appliances for this process as well.

However, sun-drying plums consume a lot of time. Which is why, you can opt for drying them in a food dehydrator or an oven.

Using an oven is the quickest method for drying your plums within just a few hours in bulk. However, you will constantly have to watch them to make sure they don’t overheat and burn.

FAQs

Can I dry large plums in the oven?

Yes, you can since the size of the plum doesn’t matter regardless of which method you use. The time required depends on the size of the pieces you’ve sliced the plums into when placing them on the tray.

How can we know if our plums are dried or not?

In the thickest area, the plums should be flexible and springy with no moisture. If sections feel mushy rather than springy, they are not dry enough.

The skins will be darker than fresh plums, with the color varying according to the plum variety.

How to remove the plum’s pit easily before drying?

Slice the fruit in half with a paring knife, and then twist the plum in opposite directions in both hands and one-half should pop away from the trap.

Remove the seed from the other half.

If it doesn’t come out easily, gently cut the flesh close to the pit with the tip of your knife before you can separate them.

What size should the plum slices be to dry quickly?

Cut each half into four pieces or chop into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks for faster drying or if your plums are large.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone through three simple ways to dry plums for various purposes. Hopefully, this guide has aided you in understanding how to dry fruits like Plums at home.

If this article was helpful for you, kindly share it with your friends and family and drop any questions for us in the comments section below!

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.

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