Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mock Dried Pineapple

This sneaky swap for "real" dried pineapple is indiscernible from the real thing in baked goods, and lasts a long time in the pantry. Just when you thought you were all "zucchinied" out! 

Not even 1/4 of It

Our zucchini are done for the year. Hallelujiah.

Unlike last season, the squash loved the weird cool / rainy then hot / humid Summer we had, producing en masse. With the last push of produce from those plants came the somewhat woody / spongy rejects which just aren't great for eating. However, those zucchini are (for the most part) awesome for baking! They're slightly drier (i.e. no need to really wring them out after shredding) and soak up flavour even better. When I came across a recipe for candied zucchini on The Persnickety Plate, I knew these last zucchini were prime for it. 

Essentially, the summer squash (you can use any variety) are peeled, cubed, and simmered in a sweetened pineapple juice until they're infused with the flavour. I then let them steep overnight for even more flavour before dehydrating them into chewy bites of fruity goodness. To keep them from sticking - especially if your climate is on the humid side - a toss with cornstarch or arrowroot keeps them separate. I didn't have that problem, since they went into muffins the same week, but you do what you do.

Unfortunately, because I made and used it so fast I forgot to take a photo... so next year (if I remember) I'll be sure to take a photo! One thing's for sure, I will make it a repeat!

Mock Dried Pineapple
Adapted from The Persnickety Plate
Makes ~12 oz
1 cup sugar (only about ¼ cup is absorbed)
4 cups pineapple juice (only about 1 cup is absorbed)
3 lbs zucchini, peeled and cubed
¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot (optional)

  1. Combine sugar and juice in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add zucchini and turn down the heat to medium.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces become translucent, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  5. Drain well (I used the leftover juice in zucchini bread) and spread onto greased dehydrator racks.
  6. Dehydrate at 130ºF until firm and no longer sticky, about 20-24 hours.
  7. Cool the pieces completely, then place the pieces in a bag or container with the cornstarch, and toss to coat.
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories: 56.0
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.9 mg
Total Carbs: 14.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 0.8 g