We are dealing now with a dried fruit. If you compare the raisins with the grapes in Fig. 26, you will see how much water is lost in the drying process. The same difference would be evident if you had pictures of a fresh plum and a prune, side by side. This water must be supplied in the process of preparation. The best way to accomplish this is by soaking the prunes many hours, say over night. Prunes have a most undeserved reputation, because they are not well cooked, and at some tables are served too often.

With this one new step introduced you may plan the cooking of the prunes, from what you know of apple sauce. The slower and longer the process, the better. The cheaper kinds of prunes will be very satisfactory, with the soaking and slow cooking. What is the sensible thing to do in regard to sugar?

If on some occasion you would like prunes to be unusually nice, remove the stones carefully, and in their places slip in seeded raisins which have also been soaked and gently stewed.

Other dried fruits may be treated in the same way. Apricots and peaches yield delightful flavors when carefully prepared; and dried apples are also excellent.