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.
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.
For a quicker version, use canned pineapple and dry the slices after step 3.
The boiling sugar syrup gets extremely hot. Protect your skin when working with it and do not allow it to overheat.
Things you need
- 1 pineapple
- 900 grams (2 lbs) sugar
- 2 cooking pots
- Cooking thermometer
- Drying rack
- Baking tray
- Food dehydrator (optional)