Drying Plums

By Charlotte King

Dried plums make a healthy snack, and they are easy to preserve for months, if not years on end. Drying plums can be a fun and easy activity to do at home, so follow our tips and tricks for the best results!

To start drying, you should gather fresh plums to get a high-quality product at the end. Next, prepare them by washing and cutting them into segments of your choice. Finally, you can dehydrate the plums using a dehydrator, oven, air fryer, or microwave!

Dried plums make a healthy snack, and they are easy to preserve for months, if not years on end. Drying plums can be a fun and easy activity to do at home, so follow our tips and tricks for the best results!
prunes in a small glass bowl

Preparing to Dry Plums

How to Pick Fresh Plums?

Here are a few tips to help you choose quality plums while avoiding plums that are not ready for use.

Tip #1: Look for ripe plums for dehydrating. You can inspect them by picking one up in your hand and trying to get a feel for its weight. A ripe plum will feel quite heavy for its size.

Tip #2: Ensure that the plums are smooth and free of wrinkles, bruises, and other significant marks.

Tip #3: A ripe plum will give a little when you press it lightly. If it feels too soft, the plum is too ripe and will be challenging to cut. 

What Type of Plum Should You Dehydrate?

Italian plums are ideal for drying, especially for their sweet taste. Damson plums are also an excellent choice for dehydrating a sweet-sour product. However, you can dry any variety of plums. After all, you will still end up with a delicious product.

Supplies You Need

plums in basket with knife

Plums

The yield of dried plums varies according to their size, but 4 pounds of fresh plums will give you about a quart of dehydrated plums. To prepare the plums for drying, rinse them in water and gently scrub them with your fingers. Be careful not to pierce the skin of the plums. Once cleaned, dry the plums by draining the water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Next, cut each plum in half by slicing it around the pit with a paring knife. You can then cut your half-sliced plums into smaller sizes of your preference. Try to cut all the plums about the same size to dry them evenly.

Dehydrating Equipment

To dry your plums, you will need dehydrating equipment. Food dehydrators designed to dry food at low temperatures over a long time yield the best results. However, it does not mean that you cannot dehydrate plums without one. From ovens to microwaves, drying is possible with various equipment with the proper temperature and technique.

Container Jars

To store your dried plums, you will need container jars. While you can use Ziplock bags, there is a risk of crushing the fruit if they stack on top of one another. We recommend using transparent glass containers to store the dehydrated plums for two reasons. First, glass is a good conductor of heat, so it will help distribute any residual heat throughout the jars. Second, you can quickly notice condensation through the transparent glass, which means the plums have not dried enough. For the recipe below, you will need 2-3 pint-sized jars.

How to Dry Plums

group of plums in metal container

Now that you have all the preparations done, you are ready to start dehydrating!

Drying Using a Dehydrator 

  1. Place your prepared plums skin-side down on the dehydrator trays. Keep enough space between every piece so that they can dry evenly.
  2. Load the trays into the dehydrator at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-18 hours. Note that the larger the plum slices are, the more time they will need to dry entirely.
  3. Start checking on the plums every few hours after the first 4 hours have passed. If required, rotate the trays to dry the plums evenly.
  4. Test the plums to see if they have finished drying. If they feel supple and there is no moisture oozing from them, they are done drying.
  5. Remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the plums to cool down to room temperature before storing them.

Drying Using an Oven 

  1. Place the prepared plums skin-side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that none of the plums overlap to prevent them from sticking together.
  2. Load the tray into a preheated oven and bake the plum slices at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours. The oven can be a bit too hot for dehydrating, so you should open the door a few inches to allow the hot air to circulate.
  3. Check on the plums after the 4th hour if they have finished drying. If they are free of moisture, remove the tray from the oven and let the dried plums cool before moving them into storage.

Drying with an Air Fryer

It is best to use an air fryer for drying if you have an air fryer oven that comes with a dehydrator setting.

  1. Start by placing your plums skin-side down on the air fryer racks.
  2. Set the temperature to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 4 hours.
  3. Check on the plums halfway through and adjust the dehydrating time if required.
  4. Once the plums have dried to your liking, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool to room temperature before storing them in jars.

Drying Using a Microwave 

  1. Spread the plum segments skin-side down on parchment paper and load them into the microwave. As always, ensure that none of the plums overlap one other.
  2. Next, microwave the plums in 30 seconds intervals and check on them frequently to test their dryness. They should be free of moisture and feel supple to the touch.
  3. Let the plums cool down completely before you store them.

How to Store Prunes

mason jar with an open lid

To store your dehydrated plums, you need to condition them. Add the dried plum to your glass jars only after cooling them to room temperature. Fill your jars so that they are ⅔ full and close their lids. 

For the first week, gently shake the jars a few times throughout the day to spread the residual heat and moisture. If you notice any condensation form, your plums will need additional drying time.

If everything looks good by the end of the week, you can completely fill the jars and label them before moving them for long-term storage in the pantry.

How to Rehydrate Dried Plums

plums in a glass bowl

Rehydrating the plums is simple and takes a few minutes. Remove the plums you want to rehydrate in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let the dehydrated plums steep for 10-15 minutes.

You can then discard the water, and you should have soft, plump plums ready to be used! You can also substitute the water with juice or liquor for an added kick of flavor.

How to Use Dehydrated Plums

plum cake in red bowl

Dried plums have an excellent sweet-tart taste with a chewy texture, making them a delicious and healthy snack. You can use your home dehydrated plums in all the recipes that call for prunes. Rehydrate the plums in water or juice and use them in cakes, smoothies, and lots more!

Frequently Asked Questions

plums in Tupperware

How Long Do Prunes Last?

Dried prunes will easily last in your pantry for 6-12 months. Remember to check on your dried products periodically to assess their quality.

Are Dried Plums Good For You?

Dried plums contain many vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making them very healthy!

Can You Dry Plums Whole?

While you can dry plums whole, they will take a long time to dry fully. You will also have to remove the pit from the dried plums, which is much trickier than when they are fresh. If you are drying the plums whole, be sure to make a few slits in the skin, allowing the heat to penetrate the fruit for even drying.

Are Dried Plums The Same As Prunes?

Prunes are the same as dehydrated plums, and dried plums and prunes are two terms that are often used interchangeably.

Conclusion

closeup of plums

Dried plums are an excellent way to preserve and introduce variety to your everyday diet. With their many health benefits, dehydrated plums make a fantastic snack to have around. If you want to dry even more kinds of fruit, you will enjoy all the tips and tricks in our ultimate drying guide!

prunes in a small glass bowl

Dried Plums

Dried plums make a healthy snack, and they are easy to preserve for months, if not years on end. Drying plums can be a fun and easy activity to do at home, so follow our tips and tricks for the best results!
No ratings yet
Total Time 20 mins
Course Preparation
Servings 1 quart

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lbs plums

Instructions
 

Using a Dehydrator

  • Start by washing and drying the plums.
  • Next, cut each plum in half using a paring knife and remove its pit. Once the pit is removed, cut the plum halves into segments of your choice.
  • Place your prepared plums skin-side down on the dehydrator trays. Keep enough space between every piece so that they can dry evenly.
  • Load the trays into the dehydrator at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-18 hours. Note that the larger the plum slices are, the more time they will need to dry entirely.
  • Start checking on the plums every few hours after the first 4 hours have passed. If required, rotate the trays to dry the plums evenly.
  • Test the plums to see if they have finished drying. If they feel supple and there is no moisture oozing from them, they are done drying.
  • Remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the plums to cool down to room temperature before storing them.

Using an Oven

  • Start by washing and drying the plums.
  • Next, cut each plum in half using a paring knife and remove its pit. Once the pit is removed, cut the plum halves into segments of your choice.
  • Place the prepared plums skin-side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Ensure that none of the plums overlap to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Load the tray into a preheated oven and bake the plum slices at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours. The oven can be a bit too hot for dehydrating, so you should open the door a few inches to allow the hot air to circulate.
  • Check on the plums after the 4th hour if they have finished drying. If they are free of moisture, remove the tray from the oven and let the dried plums cool before moving them into storage.

Using an Air Fryer

  • Start by washing and drying the plums.
  • Next, cut each plum in half using a paring knife and remove its pit. Once the pit is removed, cut the plum halves into segments of your choice.
  • Start by placing your plums skin-side down on the air fryer racks.
  • Set the temperature to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 4 hours.
  • Check on the plums halfway through and adjust the dehydrating time if required.
  • Once the plums have dried to your liking, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool to room temperature before storing them in jars.

Using a Microwave

  • Start by washing and drying the plums.
  • Next, cut each plum in half using a paring knife and remove its pit. Once the pit is removed, cut the plum halves into segments of your choice.
  • Spread the plum segments skin-side down on parchment paper and load them into the microwave. As always, ensure that none of the plums overlap one other.
  • Next, microwave the plums in 30 seconds intervals and check on them frequently to test their dryness. They should be free of moisture and feel supple to the touch.
  • Let the plums cool down completely before you store them.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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