Plums - one of the most delicious and healthy fruits. They are used not only fresh, but also in the preparation of culinary dishes, as well as in the blanks for the winter.
Dried plum or prunes - valuable low-calorie productIt has healing properties due to its high content of vitamins and other beneficial substances, especially potassium.
Which plum is better to make prunes?
Plums for cooking prunes must meet certain requirements:
- the percentage of dry matter is about 20%;
- the concentration of sugars in the fruit - from 12%;
- moisture and acid content - up to 1%;
- fruit weight - from 30 to 40 g;
- skin color - dark blue;
- fruits have a dense intact skin, covered with a waxy coating, a small bone.
What varieties of plums are suitable to make prunes?
Most suitable for drying and obtaining excellent prunes varieties Hungarian, Renklod, Prune Adygei, Blue Bird.
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Varieties such as Mirabelle, early blue, apricot and some others do not dry, as good prunes from them will not turn out.
Hungarian is one of the most popular and common varieties of plums for prunes. Its fruits have excellent taste, high sugar content and ideal for drying.
Some varieties of Hungarian:
- V. Italian - self-fertile (does not require planting near a pollinator variety) is a mid-season variety. It is cultivated mainly in the southern regions, as it can freeze out at low temperatures. The trees are low, up to 5 m in height, the crown diameter does not exceed 6 m. It begins to bear fruit for 4 or 5 years, the average yield is 50 kg of plums. The average fruit weight is 35 g. It does not tolerate drought.
- V. home - Late variety, demanding of heat. It is characterized by rapid growth, the average height is 6.5 m. Fruiting occurs from 7-8 years of cultivation. At the age of 20 years with optimal care, the maximum yield of trees reaches 150 kg. Fruit weight - about 20 g. Hungarian is one of the most popular and common varieties of plums for prunes
- V. Vangengeyma - early variety, resistant to frost and diseases, can grow on insufficiently fertile soil. To increase the yield it is recommended to carry out the pollination of inflorescences. Already in the 6th year of cultivation, the seedling brings in 15 kg of crop; upon reaching 10 years of age and older, its average yield is 60 kg. Fruit mass about 30 g.
- V. Korneevskaya - samoplodny mid-ripening variety, withstands cold and drought well. Begins to bear fruit for 3-4 year. Purple fruits weighing up to 35 g. Trees produce abundant yields: as early as 6 years old they can reach 30 kg.
Early high-yielding variety, fruit weight about 40 g. Stone is easily separated from the pulp. The crown of the tree is thick, requires regular pruning.
Medium late self-fruited variety with abundant, but periodic fruiting. Resistant to frost, drought, fungal diseases. The average weight of the fruit - 40 g.
Mid-season with abundant and regular fruiting. The first fruits appear already in 2-3 year of growing seedlings. The average fruit weight is 45 g, they have excellent taste and easily detachable bone.
Trees are self-bearing, resistant to cold and disease.For drying prunes good varieties will be Blue Bird, Renklod Karbysheva, Raisin-Eric
Crimean srednepozdny plum variety. Trees require planting near pollinating varieties. Bring abundant yields, at the age of 20 years - from 115 kg. Fruiting begins, starting from the 7th - 8th year from the moment of planting.
The size of the fruit is small, the shape is an elongated pear-shaped, the average weight is 9.5 g. The trees are resistant to drought, grow better on fertile, moisture-permeable soil.
How to dry prunes
Prunes are made from well ripened fruits., accumulated a maximum of sugar and nutrients. The optimum degree of maturity have fruits that fell from the tree.
When selecting for drying, discard rotted, wormy, damaged plums.
The process of cooking prunes has its own characteristics. One drying of the plum of the required product quality cannot be achieved.
In this case, the fruits will lose their juice, their flesh will acquire excessive rigidity, and the skin will become not black, but brown.For the prunes need special preparation of berries
To obtain the desired product special berry preparation is neededits stages:
- Storage of dried plums is carried out in baskets.located on the territory of covered areas. The maximum number of fruits laid in them should not exceed 16 kg. In this form, fruits can be stored for up to 3 days in order to avoid damage to the plum under the action of fermentation processes.
- Before drying fruits are thoroughly washed until the water obtained after rinsing becomes completely clean.
- Then plum sorted, separating large from small, followed by culling of berries that are not suitable for drying.
- Selected fruits again washed and blanched in hot water. This allows them to soften the tissue, remove the air contained in them and leads to the expansion of the cells of the plums. In the process of blanching, oxidative elements are destroyed with almost complete preservation of vitamins and other valuable substances.
- To remove wax from the surface of the berries they are lowered for 15-20 seconds in 1% p-op of caustic soda. At home, completely wash off the remnants of soda from the fruit is difficult, so it is better to replace it with potash.
- Cooling plums, while on their surface many cracks form. They provide a slow release of moisture from the fruit, preventing the gap of the skin with the rapid loss of all the juice, which will prevent the production of real prunes.
How to make prunes:
For this purpose under production conditions use multi-storey drying cabinets or tunnel (duct) dryers.
Initially, the fruits slightly wilt at 40-50 ° C for 3-5 hours so that they do not burst. Then the temperature is raised and the drying is continued until the desired condition is obtained by the dried fruit.
At this stage, biochemical processes take place in the tissues of the fruit, ensuring the acquisition by prunes of taste characteristic of it.For the manufacture of prunes in a production environment using multi-level drying cabinets or tunnel (duct) dryers
Drying plums at home
With self-made prunes should follow the rules of preparation and drying of plums as much as possible.
In the absence of special drying equipment, you can use a conventional oven or dry the fruit outdoors.
At home, you can dry plums in two ways:
- Spread the fruit evenly in one layer on plywood sheets or another suitable surface located in direct sunlight. Plums must be turned from one side to another in order to avoid the appearance of mold on them. After 5 days of drying in the sun, the fruit is transferred to the shade for final drying.
- In the ovens the first 4 hours the berries filled with juice are kept at 45 ° C, then turning off the heat to cool the fruits for 4 hours. In the next stage of drying, having the same duration, the temperature is raised to 60 ° C, followed by cooling. The third stage lasts from 8 to 10 hours. The drying temperature during it rises to 75 ° C. When it remains 3-5 minutes until the end of the process, you can raise the temperature to 100 ° C to give the surface of the dried fruit a beautiful shine.
Ready prune has a soft structure, its tissues contain a certain amount of juice, which ensures their elasticity. But at the same time, moisture from the dried fruit does not act even when it is squeezed using considerable force.
It is used as an ingredient in various culinary dishes, for the preparation of sweets and confectionery.
The use of prunes prevents the development of bacteria and can be used to prevent caries and inflammatory diseases of the gums.
It improves the functioning of the digestive tract, normalizes blood pressure indicators, strengthens the nervous system.
How to cook prunes at home: