By Cat, Oct 20. 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I love making desserts with fresh fruit as the main ingredient; for example, crisps, clafoutis, tarts or pies. But why be limited to summertime? Re-hydrate dried fruits to use in the same recipes. Or cook them for use as they are, or as a sauce or topping.
Re-hydrate dried fruits, by type
For more information, and for using other fruits, see Positively Prepared Blog (2).
- Re-hydrate for use in baked foods: For example, muffins or cookies: rinse pieces with water and place in 1 to 2 layers on a steaming rack over about 1 inch of boiling water. Cover pan and steam fruit until soft. 3 – 5 minutes. Use scissors to break up into smaller pieces.(2)
- Re-hydrate to use like fresh apples: For example, to top a coffee cake, or in apple crisp: Add ½ cup cool water to 1 cup dried fruit in a jar; mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight, mixing well several times. OR, to prepare more quickly, use 1 ¼ cups boiling water to 1 cup dried apples. (2)
Dried plums, peaches or apricots
NOTE: whole dried fruits are best cut in half or in slices before rehydrating.
- Re-hydrate: cover with boiling water and let rest 5 – 10 minutes (1); OR To use like fresh fruit*, put fruit in a jar and add ½ cup cool water for each 1 cup dried fruit. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight, mixing well several times. For thicker fruit pieces, or to prepare more quickly–usually in 1 to 2 hours–use boiling liquid and let stand at room temperature. (2).
- Re-hydrate to use like fresh fruit*: put fruit in a jar and add ½ cup cool water for each 1 cup dried fruit; mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. OR (my preferred method): mix equal amounts of fruit and water (barely cover fruit with cool water) in jar; refrigerate, covered, overnight; check once, adding more cool water as needed.
*NOTE: 10/21/15 testing of rehydrating dried plums for a plum & pear clafoutis made with rehydrated dried plums (using quick method with boiling water) and fresh pear did give them more moisture, but they don’t have the same juiciness as fresh fruit. For 11/10/15 testing of rehydrated plums, I used just enough cold water to cover the plums, then let rest in fridge overnight. This produced a better end product: much juicier, and with a softer texture in the rehydrated plums. This is my preferred method.
- Re-hydrate for use like fresh fruit: For example, in a clafoutis: rinse pieces with water and place in 1 – 2 layers on a steaming rack over about 1 inch of boiling water. Cover pan and steam fruit until soft, 1 – 2 minutes. (2)
Cooked/Simmered dried fruit:
General instructions (2):
- Bring 2 cups water or juice to boiling in s – 3 quart saucepan.
- Add 1 cup dried fruit(s); cover and simmer about 6 – 10 minutes, until tender when pierced.
- Add sweetener (sugar, honey or stevia) to taste and simmer additional 2 – 3 minutes.
- Transfer to bowl or jar with slotted spoon
- Optional: Boil remaining liquid in saucepan to reduce and concentrate flavor, then pour over fruit.
- Chill, and store in fridge until ready to use.
- Soak prunes in 2 cups water for at least one hour and as long as overnight. To speed the softening process, use hot water.
- Cook prunes, using the water in which they soaked and orange juice (optional) over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low (optional: add cinnamon and nutmeg).
- Simmer prunes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they become plump and yield easily when pierced with a fork. (3)
- Woodland Foods, on soaking prunes (woodlandfoods.com/products/PITTED_PRUNES_F07.html)
- Positively Prepared, on rehydrating dried fruits (positivelyprepared.blogspot.com/2010/04/re-hydrating-dried-fruits.html)
- Livestrong on cooking dried prunes (livestrong.com/article/437123-how-to-cook-dried-prunes)