If prepared carefully, most dried fruits retain their flavor. Except for some of the vitamins, none of the food values of the product are lost in drying, for this method of preservation only drives off the moisture of perishable foods through evaporation. The modern method of drying fruit makes it unnecessary to soak the present day product. Dried fruits are edible as they come from the package, or may be plumped slightly by immersing in hot water.

Quick cooking without soaking saves the sugar of the fruit, allows a firmer texture and improves the flavor. Rinse the fruit, cover generously with water and boil briskly until very tender. Apples and apricots require 40 minutes, figs 20-30, peaches 50, pears 40, prunes 45-50 and raisins 10. Add sugar to taste during the last 5 minutes of cooking to all fruit except figs which must be cooked with sugar for at least 15 minutes.

Stick cinnamon, cloves or lemon juice may be added for flavor variety.

There are endless ways in which dried fruit may be used for garnishes, salads, cakes, cookies, breads and desserts.