If you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that I’ve been on this dehydrator kick. I got a new dehydrator at work to make a few things for a “raw” diet and I’ve also playing around with different dried fruit, beef jerky, and kale chips. I like the ease of the dehydrator (if not the clean-up) — you prep your fruit in a few minutes, you stick it in the unit, and you just dry it until it’s done. This pineapple was a snap to prep. The actual drying time was interminable, but for over a full day the house was filled with a fantastic, sweet, heady aroma of tropical fruit. My wife Regina said the house smelled like Hawaii.
The end result was just incredible and highly addictive. Everyone who’s tried it has loved it utterly; my boy Bennet was hooked instantly and I had to hide the container from him before he ate the whole damn thing. The pineapple was chewy and candy-sweet. The pineapple flavor was concentrated, robust, and almost caramel-like in intensity. This dried pineapple was truly epic.
It’s very easy to make.
I started with ten pounds of pre-cut pineapple. Of course if you start with actual fruit (peel it, core it, cut it) it’ll be cheaper, but I was less interested in economy than I was in ease of production. So I took fresh chunks of pineapple and cut them down to make sure they were of uniform thickness — about a half-inch.
I put the pineapple chunks into a big bowl and tossed them with three cups of organic granulated sugar. I let the pineapple sit for one hour and then placed the fruit chunks on the dehydrator trays. In the bottom of the bowl remained about two cups of sugary pineapple juice, which I strained. This delicious syrup I used later as a sweetener for a batch of amazing tropical iced tea. A yummy byproduct of this one project turned into another project — no waste!
I dried the pineapple at 135ºF for a staggering 30 hours! Pineapple has a lot of moisture to dry out, so be patient. After about 20 hours I started checking every hour or so. I would eat a piece and make sure it wasn’t too soft or wet. It should be dry but not brittle. Chewy but not tooth-threatening.
When it was fully dried I stored it in two airtight containers. My yield was eight cups of dried pineapple.
You might like this recipe too: dried cherries in the dehydrator.