Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Dehydrate Plums

Plums are amazing.  They are about the easiest fruit in the world to process, and (in my house!) they are universally loved!  

We are blessed to have two gorgeous Italian Plum trees in our hand-me-down orchard.  They're also called Italian Prunes, but the word "plum" sounds a little more appealing to me.  The fruits are delicious fresh, baked, and even canned and if you have a dehydrator, it's a cinch to preserve these little purple beauties as they are meant to be prepared - dried!

Step 1: Wash your plums

Like many kinds of fruit, the plums have a whitish natural coating called "bloom" on the skin, which is kind of waxy/powdery and protects them when they are on the tree.  It washes off easily in water (it also rubs off pretty well, but my kids helped me pick those...the washing was more about removing toddler goo than bloom!)

Step 2: Slice around the "cut here" line and remove pit

You guys, Italian plums are amazing.  Processing them almost feels like cheating, it is so easy.  These babies have been bred to be sliced and dried.  They are "freestone," instead of "cling," which means the pit inside is very loosely attached and easy to remove.

They also have this convenient little line down one side.  It is like the plum is saying, "cut here!"  If you  cut right along this line, then right up the other side, you will cut right around the edge of the pit (as you can see above).  Perfectly.  Every time.  Seriously, if you have never cut up Italian plums, I can't even do them justice.  They are SO easy.

Step 3: Place cut-side down on dehydrator tray.

It took me about 4 minutes to slice plums and fill up this dehydrator tray.  The work just goes quickly and easily, especially if you select plums that are nice and ripe.

Step 4: Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 12 hours.

The plums are dehydrating at 125 degrees, and after about 12 hours, they are leathery on the outside, but still juicy inside.  I am pretty excited to see how they turn out!

So, to summarize, it's as easy as 1, 2,3!

1. Wash plums
2. Slice plums around their convenient middle and arrange face-down on dehydrator tray
3. Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 12 hours!

Have you ever tried these funky little Italian Plums?  Do you have any favorite fruits to can, dehydrate, or preserve in some way?  What would you do with 100 pounds of free Italian plums?

Posted at Barn Hop, Fat Tuesday, and Monday Mania


  1. Hi Danielle, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris! I will stop by for a visit!

  2. Chinese Plum Sauce:

    1. Mmm, looks delish! Thanks for the link.

  3. Our property has Italian prune trees as hedgerows. It was once a prune orchard. We dry them, freeze them, make jam, and fig wine. Then we give away what we can. The deer, squirrels, rabbits and chickens also enjoy their share.

    1. What a cool hedgerow! It sounds like you are swimming in plums - lucky!

  4. Hi good blog we dried our Italian plums as instructed but some have have a white mold on them ?


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