We figure out how to dry plums at home and save them correctly for the winter
Autumn harvesting of fruits brings summer residents not only joy, but also pleasant chores. We will learn how to dry plums at home in order to prepare drinks and various desserts in winter. Delicious fruits are very healthy. They stimulate the digestive tract and cardiovascular system. Plums also help lower blood pressure. There are 6 main ways to prepare dried fruits for the winter. Let’s consider the features of each of them. However, first we will find out which varieties are best for drying. How to DIY a plum dryer to get a quality product?
Suitable varieties of plums for drying at home
Thanks to the painstaking work of breeders, many types of plums have been bred to date. However, only sweet, dense fruits with a fleshy texture are suitable for drying. They should not be watery or overripe..
Culinary experts advise using the following varieties for drying:
- Anna Shpet;
Some types of cherry plum are also suitable. The main thing is that the fruits meet the general requirements: sweet and sour taste, firm pulp, dense rind.
Homemade drain dryer
Harvesting fruit for the winter takes a lot of effort. The product must be of good quality with a full complement of vitamins and minerals.
There are several ways to dry plums at home:
- in the sun;
- in the oven;
- using an electric dryer;
- in the airfryer;
- using a microwave oven;
- in the bath.
However, with bountiful harvests, a spacious DIY dryer may be required. Consider the simplest version of the unit.
To create it you will need:
- fan heater;
- mesh plastic boxes;
- sticky tape (scotch tape).
A hole is cut in one of the drawers for a fan heater. Then it is carefully mounted there. The wire is brought out.
The appliance box is placed on top of the empty crates. And on top they build a pyramid of several of the same boxes. The structure is wrapped with an adhesive film.
All tiers are carefully cut with a sharp knife to make several sections. The lower level with the fan is not touched.
To conveniently use the switches, on the contrary, additional holes are made..
Consider how to cook prunes with your own hands in an electric dryer for the winter. The resulting trays are filled with washed fruit. Turn on the fan to the network. Set mode No. 1 and the maximum temperature level. The upper drawer is covered with gauze so that insects do not get into the unit. Observe the process. If necessary, the boxes are swapped.
Preparing fruits for the procedure
To get a tasty product, it is not enough, just dry the plums in the traditional way. It is important to properly prepare them for the process. Otherwise, the fruit will turn out to be a hard texture, and the surface will not be black, but red-brown.
Preparation of prunes includes simple operations:
- only the most ripe fruits are harvested;
- sort, removing damaged and rotten specimens;
- put in baskets (preferably from a vine) about 15 kg each;
- the container is placed under a canopy and left for 3 days.
During this period, plums will acquire a special softness, which will remain even after drying. Next, the fruits are washed as follows. The procedure is repeated until the water becomes clear and transparent. All plums are slightly dried and sorted, separating large specimens.
If the fruits are dried with a bone, they are blanched. To do this, dissolve baking soda in hot water at the rate of 1 liter, 1 teaspoon is enough. The fruits are immersed in the solution for about 20 seconds, and then washed again. Thanks to the procedure, microcracks form on the skin, through which plums lose moisture.
If you keep fruits under a canopy for more than 3 days, fermentation will begin and they will be unsuitable for drying..
How to dry plums in the sun at home
Perhaps this method is the most economical, but it lasts long enough. Washed fruits are cut in half. Remove the bone. Place gently on a clean surface or baking sheet. Leave for 4-5 days.
Fruits are placed not too tightly and cut up. Thanks to this, they will not lose juice..
Let’s consider step by step how to dry prunes in the sun and get an excellent product:
- the fruits are carefully protected from insects (they are constantly driven off or covered with gauze);
- every evening the plums are taken indoors;
- in the morning, when the dew subsides, they are again exposed to the sun;
- turn over periodically.
Then the fruits are collected in a spacious container and dried for several (3-4) days in the shade. The boxes are folded under a canopy, where the wind is dry and constantly blowing. Stir the plums periodically with your hands. The finished product is packaged and stored in a cool dry place.
How to dry plums in the oven
The blanched fruits are carefully spread on a baking sheet, trying to place them as compactly as possible and in one layer. If desired, cover the surface of the brazier with parchment paper. To get a high quality product, you need to understand how to dry plums in the oven correctly. Indeed, not only taste depends on the temperature level, but also the content of useful components..
The order of work includes the following actions:
- preheat the oven to a temperature of 50 ° C;
- lay fruit for about 5 hours;
- cooled for 4 hours;
- increase the temperature indicator to 80 ° C;
- plums are sent back to the closet;
- languish for about 6 hours;
- increase the temperature to 100 ° C;
- dry for 30 minutes.
The finished plums are left for several hours until they cool completely. Transferred to glass jars. Cover with a lid. Store in a cool dry place. In winter, they are used to prepare compotes, sweet desserts and meat dishes..
Cooking fruit in an electric dryer
Modern technologies make it possible to make preparations for the winter using special devices. An instruction is provided for each of them. However, the rules on how to dry plums in the dryer remain the same. For the process, the fruit is pre-blanched in hot water with baking soda. Rinse well and spread evenly on pallets.
The unit is started, gradually setting the desired temperature. During the first 4 hours, plums are dried at 55 degrees. For the next six hours, the temperature is raised to 60 ° C. The final stage also lasts about 6 hours, but the temperature regime is set from 70 to 80 ° C. At the end of each procedure, the fruit is taken out of the dryer to cool completely.
How to dry plums at home in the microwave
If there are not very many fruits, they are prepared with an accelerated version. The fruits are washed well. Cut in half. Spread skin down on a flat surface. Cover the top with a dense paper napkin.
Select medium power on the device. The time is set – 3 minutes. The unit is started. Next, the napkins are carefully removed. When the fruit has cooled, they are again sent to the microwave for 3 minutes at the same power. At the end, the plums are dried at a maximum temperature for about 1 minute.
For drying plums with a microwave oven, varieties with firm flesh are suitable. Otherwise, the product will turn into a liquid fruit mass..
We use an airfryer
It turns out that not only meat dishes are prepared with the help of an airfryer, but also plums are dried. For business, they take medium-sized fruits. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a kitchen towel. Then the plums are placed in the unit. Set the time to 45 minutes and the temperature to 62 ° C. The device is started. After the procedure, leave the product to cool. Then the process is repeated two more times..
After 12 hours, the plums are dried again in the airfryer 3 times for 45 minutes. The interval between procedures is 1 hour. The finished prunes are carefully laid out on paper towels. Leave for about 24 hours. Then packaged and stored in a dry room.
An unusual way of harvesting fruits
Perhaps someone will like the ancient way of drying prunes in the bath, which our ancestors used. The process is pretty straightforward. The main thing is to follow the instructions step by step. First, spacious pallets are prepared. From above they are covered with a metal grate. Then the washed fruits are spread on it..
You can use a radiator from an old refrigerator as a grill.
The first container is placed on bricks paved on a slab. The rest are placed on top. Then a moderate fire is made. The same temperature is maintained indoors. The juice goes to the tray, and the fruit is gradually dried. The process requires constant supervision of both the fire and the fruit. Turn the plums if necessary. And also allow to cool completely after each procedure.
Practical advice on how to store the product correctly
Ready-made plums are particularly elastic. They don’t stick to your fingers. When squeezed, they retain their original appearance. The interior is quite soft, although it remains dry throughout the season. To ensure that the product always has such advantages, we will analyze how to store dried prunes at home..
The basic rule is a dark, cool place. It can be found in a refrigerator, pantry, or dry basement. The main thing is that dried fruits are protected from direct sunlight..
Suitable as packaging:
- paper bags;
- linen bags;
- glass jars;
- plastic trays.
All items must be tightly closed so that insects do not enter. The product can be stored for 12 months if all conditions are met. In addition, it does not lose its beneficial properties..
We have carefully considered how to dry plums at home for compotes and dessert dishes. The process is, in principle, simple. However, do not forget about the rules for choosing a suitable crop variety. Properly prepare the product for drying and follow simple instructions during the procedure. And may dried plums delight our hearts all year round.