Pineapple Flowers are very pretty and very delicate. They are made out of thinly sliced rounds of pineapple and are used as garnishes. When dried out, the pineapple retains its lovely yellow colour and the edges become frilly.
While these dry out in the oven, the house fills with a sweet pineapple fragrance.
Pineapple Flowers are intended to be garnishes for cakes and small individual puddings, but Mum and I decided to do something different with ours. We upturned them like baskets and filled them with whipped cream and sprinkled finely chopped crystallised ginger and mint on top.
We tried a few rounds of thinly cut pineapple dried in the oven without the sugar syrup and this worked well too. The pineapple we used was very sweet, so maybe the natural sugars in the pineapple worked as its own natural syrup.
1 small pineapple
1/8 cup caster sugar
¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
Using a very fine slicer (like a mandolin, v-slicer) or a very sharp knife, cut pineapple into wafter-thin slices.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 1 minute.
Brush both sides of pineapple slices with sugar syrup.
Place slices in a single layer on large wire racks over oven trays.
Dry pineapple in oven for 1-1 ½ hours (depending on thickness). Check on the pineapple frequently after about an hour to monitor colouring as the pineapple can brown quickly.
Take out of oven and immediately place pineapple slices over the points of an upturned egg carton or something similar – the pineapple will set in shape quicky. Leave pineapple to dry and take on a flower shape.
We made two batches of Pineapple Flowers. The following photo is from the first batch, which became a trial batch. When held up to the sunlight, the Pineapple Flowers become translucent and look pretty.
But this is how they should not look as these are too browned. Mum and I were sitting outside enjoying a late breakfast in the sun, when the smell of browning pineapple wafted past our noses and we ran inside to find the pineapple slices had gone slightly past the colour we wanted them to be. We found out that 1 and ½ hours in the oven is too long for thin slices of pineapple, so make sure to watch the pineapple in the oven for the last half hour or 20 minutes.
This recipe is from:
Australian Women’s Weekly: Christmas Cooking With the Weekly.
Editorial and Food Director, Pamela Clark.
Sydney: Bauer Media, 2013.
240 pages : colour illustrations ; 30 x 25 cm.
ISBN: 9781742454863 (hardback)
PS: I really love this book. There are so many great ideas contained within its covers: every page is jam-packed with them and I really admire the people who put this book together, as it would have taken a lot of detailed organisation. (Even though the word ‘Christmas’ is in the book’s title, most of the contents are applicable all year round.)
I borrowed this book from the local library and I very reluctantly had to return it, so I bought my own copy.
This is my copy: