Last year I embarked on my very first solo canning projects, and the first recipe I made was a simple plum syrup. I have this huge and bountiful plum tree, you see, so it only made sense. But there was something ‘not quite right’ about the flavor. I couldn’t figure it out until I did a bit of research. Apparently, the ‘problem’ was that I was growing Italian pruning plums. Score!
I love prunes. Love love love them! So this was an awesome revelation. I couldn’t wait to try my hand at pruning!
Pruning is actually reeeeally easy. It goes something like this:
Seriously. It’s that easy.
Start with slightly under-ripe fruit. Not totally under-ripe – not hard and green – but not soft and sugared either. They’re going to sweeten up a lot as they dry, so you need them to start out on the tart side.
Wash the fruit and cut each plum in half. Remove the pits and throw them away (you cannot compost these, so sad).
Spread the fruit out on dehydrator trays and load up the machine. Dehydrate between 105-115º for roughly 24 hours, or until prunes are shriveled and darkened.
Alternately, prunes can be made in an oven by placing the fruit on baking trays and roasting at the lowest possible setting. Leave the oven door open a crack and set up a portable fan to circulate the air. This is not so energy efficient, but it will get the job done.
And that’s all there is to it! Store your prunes in an airtight container in the fridge. And enjoy!