Look for branches with ripe pepper tree berries.
Cut off a segment of branch with a good amount of reddish-pink berries on it. They’re easy to find as they’re usually the clusters draping off the ends of the tree.
Step 2: Dry the peppercorn berries.
Gently pull the fresh berries off the branches with your fingers. Sometimes I’m able to do this quickly by running my fingers firmly down a branch to strip off the berries.
Spread the berries out on a plate or cookie sheet, and leave them out on the counter to dry at room temperature.
Within a few days, the berries will fully dry and harden into peppercorns.
If your berries are dried in a sunny spot, the shell may become bleached as it shrinks around the seed to create the hard, wrinkled outer layer so familiar as peppercorns.