The best weekend hosts know there's nothing sunnier on a cold winter day than preserves over warm toast or scones. Surprise them with this golden pineapple confit, speckled with spicy aleppo or smoky crystals of salt, a celebration of sweetness.
2 large or 3 medium fairly ripe pineapples (about 10 pounds)
6 cups granulated sugar
Smoked sea salt, aleppo pepper, or cloves
1. Trim the skin and any eyes off the pineapples. Cut into quarters and trim out the fibrous core. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (You should have about 4 pounds of trimmed fruit.) Using a peeler or a sharp knife, peel the zest off the lime in 4 or 5 thin strips. Trim away any white pith and set aside. Juice the limes.
2. Mix the pineapple, sugar, and lime juice together in a large, heavy pan. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, and then adjust the heat to maintain an even simmer. Cook until the sugar dissolves, the fruit is tender and golden, and the juices thicken to a light syrup, about 1 hour.
3. Cool slightly, and then stir in the lime peels. Customize your confit with a pinch of smoked sea salt, allepo pepper or a few whole cloves. Spoon into pint-size sterilized jars and seal. Refrigerate until ready to give. (Keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge) Gift Note: Spoon your pineapple confit over toast or scones, or into tart shells before baking and topping with vanilla ice cream.
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