Prunes are delightful snacks and can be magnificent if made from quality fruit. Commercial prunes are typically inexpensive, however, so prunes are probably not worth dehydrating yourself unless you have a lead on a good plum tree.
If you are lucky enough to have more plums than you know what to do with, here is how you can dehydrate your own prunes:
- Wash the plums.
- If you are using a dehydrator, rinse them briefly in hot tap water. If you are sun-drying, blanch the whole plums in boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Slice the plums in half around the pit. Give the two halves a twist to pull them apart. Pry out the pit with your finger or knife.
- Optionally, you can use sulfuring to further preserve the prunes.
- Place the plums in the dehydrator racks, cut-size up to avoid sticking. Since they will shrink, it is okay to pack the fresh plums closely beside each other.
- Check the instructions for your individual dehydrator for more accurate timing, but generally prunes should be dried at 145° F. After 4-6 hours, check their progress, rotate trays for even drying, and flip the prunes to face the other direction. Check every 1-2 hours to see if they are done.
- The dried prunes should be pliable but show no signs of moisture. The drier they are, the less they will stick to the trays.
- If the humidity is low, leave the prunes in the unplugged dehydrator overnight to allow moisture to equalize.
- Check individual prunes, dry longer if necessary, and otherwise vacuum seal, or pack into thick Ziploc bags or jars. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them.