- 1 Cooking pitted prunes at home
- 2 Dry plums in a food dehydrator
- 3 For lovers of pitted prunes in chocolate
- 4 Pitted prunes at home
Cooking pitted prunes at home
Everyone in our family loves pitted prunes. Until there was a dehydrator in the house, we naturally bought it in the supermarket, considering it a rather expensive delicacy. After the advent of our food dehydrator, it was time for homemade treats devoid of all chemical preservatives.
So, in our prunes, there is nothing but prunes and sugar syrup. We do not use soda; we do not process the finished product with anything (as is done in industrial procurement). After the drying-drying, I put the prunes in a bag and put them in the refrigerator. Dried prunes keep well in the fridge.
Last year we had many pitted prunes, and it was simply impossible not to take advantage of the situation. Moreover, the preparation of prunes turned out to be a relatively simple process. Well, first things first.
How to prepare plums for drying?
Let’s say that we bought a couple of kilograms of plums; the ripe plum should be firm, not mint and overripe. Crumpled or stale (when they sell plums from the refrigerator) will behave very ugly when cooking. They can ruin the whole picture of the preparation of a treat. So, we wash the selected plums, let the water drain, remove the seeds, cut the fruits lengthwise and half with a sharp knife. The result is identical pitted plum halves.
If you find a damaged piece of plum somewhere, it doesn’t matter; we cut off the damage and attach the remaining quarter (or what we got) to the halves and weigh it.
Pour prepared halves with sugar (at the rate of 400 grams of sugar per kilogram of pitted prunes) and leave at a temperature of 71 F for about a day – to separate the juice. Given the sweltering summer, I put prunes on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for this time.
After the juice is released, you must drain it. You can use a colander if necessary. Weigh the resulting plum mass again – the proportions of sugar syrup will depend on its weight.
How to make plum soak syrup?
Prepare the plum syrup: 1 kilogram of seedless pitted prunes, and without, you need to take 300 ml of water and 400 grams of sugar. Water with sugar is brought to a boil, prepared halves of plums are dipped into the resulting syrup. After seeing that all this is about to boil, we turn off and close the pan with a lid.
It is recommended to hold the plum after boiling in syrup for another 10 minutes over low heat (and it was so with my first prune). I don’t do this anymore, as the ripe plum falls apart, and it’s tough to collect it later into “halves.” Therefore, almost before the plums boil in syrup, I immediately stop cooking, close the pan with a lid and leave it to rest until it cools completely. Sometimes this time is from morning to evening, or from evening to morning.
When the prunes in the syrup cooled down, we drain the resulting juice and put the halves of the fruit in a colander so that the glass is all unnecessary. Only after that, carefully prying each half with a fork, put the prunes on pallets.
Dry plums in a food dehydrator
We dry the pitted prunes for several hours on a high mode so that the syrup “starts” and does not try to flow. Then, in a reduced manner – until ready. Readiness is determined in the same way as when drying cherries – the plum must be soft and elastic. When you press on it with your fingers, it should not release moisture.
Plums are also placed on special trays in one layer. If you are drying the halves of the fruit, then you must arrange them with the cut-up.
The temperature regime for the entire drying time will vary:
- Stage 1: dry for 4 hours at 167 °F (ca. 75 °C) – 176 °F (ca. 80 °C). We change trays in places and turn over the pieces.
- Stage 2: dry for 4 – 6 hours at a temperature of 140 °F (60 °C). We change trays, turn over the plums.
- Stage 3: until the product is ready, approximately 4 – 6 hours at 122 °F (ca. 50 °C) – 131 °F (ca. 55 °C).
*Cooking steps in a vertical dehydrator
**For horizontal dehydrators, the trays do not need to be rearranged. In horizontal food dehydrators, warm air is blown evenly.
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How to store prunes and dried cherries?
When it comes to storage, I don’t experiment with hermetically sealed cans. Therefore, considering our natural—weather conditions, I put the dried prunes in bags and put them in the refrigerator.
For lovers of pitted prunes in chocolate
The result is delicious, and cannot be compared with what we bought in the store until recently. But, even though I can eat such a delicacy just like that. I decided to make it even tastier and dipped it in chocolate melted in a water bath. Dropped with culinary tweezers and gently transferred to a prepared sheet of edible parchment.
The sweets took just half an hour in the refrigerator. Then I effortlessly removed them from the parchment and wrapped them broken of food foil. Nobody believed that they did it at home with their hands.
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Pitted prunes at home
- 3 kg Plum
- 900 ml Water
- ⅕ kg Sugar
- We wash the selected plums, let the water drain, and remove the seeds, cutting the fruits lengthwise and in half with a sharp knife. As a result, the same plum halves are obtained.
- Pour prepared halves with sugar (at the rate of 400 grams of sugar per kilogram of pitted prunes) and leave at a temperature 71 F for about a day - to separate the juice. Given the sweltering summer, I put prunes on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for this time.
- Drain the juice from the drain and weigh. Make a new syrup based on 1 kg of draining 400 g of sugar with 300 ml of water. In total, calculate taking into account the ready-made syrup from the plums. You should get about 900 ml of syrup.
- Bring to a boil and turn off, let cool under a lid on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
- Drain and drain. Place gently on the pan of a food dehydrator.
- Stage 1: dry for 4 hours at 167 - 176 F (75 - 80 ° C). We change trays in places and turn over the pieces. Stage 2: dry for 4 - 6 hours at a temperature of 140 F (60 ° C). We change trays, turn over the plums. Stage 3: until the product is ready, approximately 4 - 6 hours at 122 - 131 F (50 - 55 ° C).