How Do You Juice a Prune?

iStock / mariusFM77
iStock / mariusFM77 / iStock / mariusFM77

Reader Joe writes in to say,  I recently bought a bag of "dried plums" only to later learn that a delicious dried plum is the exact same as a horrible old prune. That got me thinking about prune juice, and wondering how it's possible to juice dried fruit!”

You can juice dried prunes by steaming or simmering them to rehydrate them, running them through a strainer to remove the pits, seeds and skin, and then adding more water to the resulting pruney paste.

You don’t have to do that, though, because you could also just juice a fresh prune. That’s right, fresh ones! Contrary to popular belief, prunes aren’t simply dried plums, but a group of cultivars, or varieties, of plum that are well suited to drying. The confusion seems to stem from a bit of marketing that the prune industry did. According to The Encyclopedia of Fruit & Nuts, because of the association of prunes and prune juice with old folks and use as a laxative, prune producers began branding their dried prune products as “dried plums” to attract more customers. For some consumers, like Joe, the term on the package seems to make all the difference between delicious and horrible.