For a sweet, natural sweet treat, try making your own crystallised pineapple. Crystallising fruit is a process that's been around for centuries, making the perishable fruit harvest edible throughout the winter. Home cooks made crystallised fruit often around the turn of the 20th Century; like most old-fashioned recipes, it's a time consuming process that can be sped up a bit with modern appliances. Still, true crystallised pineapple will take several days to make.
Things you need
- 1 pineapple
- 900 grams (2 lbs) sugar
- 2 cooking pots
- Cooking thermometer
- Drying rack
- Baking tray
- Food dehydrator (optional)
Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple. Skin and core the fruit, then slice it into 1 to 1.5 cm (1/2-inch) thick slices.
Combine 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a cooking pot.
Heat the sugar and water, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a boil and reads 112C (235F) on a candy thermometer. Add the pineapple to the pot and allow it to simmer for 1 hour.
Allow the syrup to cool, then place the pot in the refrigerator overnight.
Drain the pineapple. In the cooking pot, bring another 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil. Add the pineapple to the pot, simmer for 1 hour, cool and refrigerate overnight again.
Repeat the draining, mixing sugar water, boiling, cooling and refrigerating overnight a third time.
Drain the pineapple a fourth time. Lay the slices on a cooling rack on top of a foil-lined baking tray. Place the pineapple in a 93C/200F oven to dry for at least 4 hours. Alternatively, dry the pineapple in an electric dehydrator according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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