This section is from the book "Every-Day Dishes And Every-Day Work", by E. E. Kellogg. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
These fruits, if dried with the skins on, need, in addition to the preparation for cooking recommended for dried apples, a thorough rubbing with the fingers, while being washed, to remove the down. Put into boiling water in about the proportion of two parts of fruit to three of water. If the fruit was pared before drying, a little more water will be required. Cook quickly, but gently, until just tender, and take from the fire as soon as done. If too soft, they will be mushy and insipid.
Soak the peaches over night in just enough water to cover. In the morning put to cook in boiling water. When tender, sweeten and beat perfectly smooth with an egg-beater.
These may be treated in the same way as dried apples.
These, when dried, must be carefully examined, thoroughly washed, and then cooked rather quickly in boiling water. They swell but little, do not require much water, and usually cook in a few minutes. They should be taken from the fire as soon as soft, as long standing makes them insipid.
Use only the best selected prunes. Clean by putting them into warm water; let them stand a few minutes, rubbing them gently between the hands to make sure that all dust and dirt are removed; rinse, and if rather dry and hard, put them into three parts of water to one of prunes; cover closely, and let them simmer for several hours. If the prunes are quite easily cooked, less water may be used. They will be tender, with a thick juice. The sweet varieties need no sugar whatever. Many persons who cannot eat fruit cooked with sugar, can safely partake of sweet prunes cooked in this way. A slice of lemon, added just before the prunes are done, is thought an improvement.
Cook sweet California prunes as directed above. When well done, rub through a colander to remove the skins and stones. No sugar is necessary. If the pulp is too thin when cold, it may be covered in an earthen pudding-dish and stewed down by placing in a pan of hot water in a moderate oven.