Can you feel spring in the air??
I certainly can!
I took my pup out for his walk this morning and all the telltale signs of the impending spring season was in the air…
- A warm breeze
- That sweet smell of “new grass”
- Muddy boots
- A lingering odor of manure
(that last one is because I live in farm country…you city folk can just relax about that one!).
It made me think about all the holidays that are coming up and all of the pretty desserts we are going to make (hoping that we will be able to gather and share THE desserts with others!!).
Last week, I made and delivered my version of mimosa cakes for International Womens Day and, to pretty them up, I made some dried pineapple flowers:
I thought they would be pretty atop a spring time cake. But, I had never made these pineapple flowers before so I just few by the seat of my pants (which I really need to stop doing…really). I bought one of those peeled/cored pineapples and, although they are so convenient when you are eating them, they aren’t so good for these…you kinda need the core!
For this you need a real/whole pineapple!
Then you need to peel it and take out the little prickly pieces with either the end of a veggie peeler of a sharp knife (save the peels and put them in vodka…you can thank me later!!).
You can use a sharp knife to cut your pineapple but I have a meat slicer so I thought I’d use that (it works beautifully but let me give you a piece of advice…clean your machine well because your first few slices will taste like salami coated pineapple – I speak from experience).
Place the slices on a rack on top of your baking tray and pat dry. Bake in a 200°F oven for 2-3 hours depending on how thin your slices are (mine were done in 2 hours but they were paper thin).
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and place them into mini-muffin tins, pushing them in gently to from a flower (they will still be pliable when they are warm).
Once they’ve cooled, they will keep their shape and you can use them on anything. My friend Oliva from Liv for Cake made the prettiest cake with them…isn’t this gorgeous?
Maybe I could have cooked mine more but I wanted that soft yellow colour to shine through!
What would you decorate with pineapple flowers?
How to Make Dried Pineapple Flowers
- 1 whole pineapple outside cut off and hard bits removed not cored
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Slice pineapple into paper thin slices. It's best to use a mandolin slicer to get the slices as thin as possible....dry each pineapple slice carefully on both sides with a paper towel, getting up as much moisture as you can.
- Delicately lay the slices on a large baking/cooling rack and put the rack over a large baking sheet (this prevents the bottom of your oven from getting dirty with drips); put the baking sheet in the oven for 2 hours or until the slices are fully dried and they should turn brown and curl up a wee bit on the edges the timing depends on how thinly you sliced them).
- Take the tray out of the oven and while the pineapple slices are still warm, place each slice into the inside of a mini muffin tin or small cup/dish to create the shape of flowers you want. Allow pineapple to fully dry in the muffin tin. Once dried, they'll hold their shape!
- Once they are fully died and their shape is sturdy enough to move around and use to decorate the tops of cakes and cupcakes (store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days but really, they last quite a while).