A Tropical, Edible DIY For Your Next Party

1Photo: Courtesy of Anna Hezel/Food52.
When you're planning a tiki party in Brooklyn, the options for incorporating tropical flora into your decor are fairly limited. You could fly in a few bushels of fresh hibiscus from Hawaii or... buy a few plastic leis from the local dollar store and call it a day.
While planning my own party over the past few weeks, however, I was delighted to find, among the clever crafters of the Internet, a hack to transform a ripe pineapple into a bouquet of tropical flowers. It's so simple, and yet who would guess that a few hours in a low-heat oven could change a juicy round of pineapple into a delicate little yellow flower?
The flowers are quite convincing too — complete with a vibrant yellow color and fruity scent. They taste a little like fruit leather, with crispy edges; all the tart sweetness of fresh pineapple condensed into a drier, denser form.
Pineapple flowers like these are often used to top hummingbird cake but would be just as lovely on top of little vanilla or coconut cupcakes. I poked mine with bamboo sticks to make drink stirrers. Keep reading for the how-to!
2Photo: Courtesy of Anna Hezel/Food52.
One pineapple (yields about 30 flowers)
Sharp chef's knife
Vegetable peeler
4 parchment paper-lined baking sheets
Mini cupcake pan
Preheat your oven to 210° F. Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, and cut away the skin. (For a full step-by-step on pineapple prep, go here.)
Using the tip of a vegetable peeler, carve out all of the little pockets of seeds that stud the outside of the pineapple. Slice the pineapple into very thin rounds (no thicker than 1/4 inch) and spread out on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
3Photo: Courtesy of Anna Hezel/Food52.
Bake these for about an hour, after which the surfaces of the pineapple slices should appear dry and leathery. Flip the slices over and bake for another hour.
Once the slices are mostly dry and begin to become brittle around the edges, remove from the oven. Set the slices into the divots of the mini cupcake pan so that they dry in the shapes of flowers.
4Photo: Courtesy of Anna Hezel/Food52.
Set on top of cakes or drinks, or keep in a zipper-lock bag in your freezer for up to three weeks.
Tell us: Got other DIY tiki party decorations (or recipes)? Let us know in the comments!

More from Food & Drinks

Growing up, your parents may have told you to be grateful for your food, because some people are starving. Now, your own meals can actually help other ...
Coffee lovers of the world, get ready. We have news that might make even a die-hard caffeine addict à la Lorelai Gilmore jump up and down in excitement. ...
DIY cotton candy ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker? Winning
These out of this world doughnuts are topped with a vanilla galaxy. Oh, and did we mention that they only have two ingredients
Whether you're brunching or, uh, dinnering, etiquette is of the utmost importance when dining out. And no, we don't mean keeping your elbows off the table...
Once in college, I had a friend Google "how to make a grilled cheese," and I remember being completely baffled that someone would need a step-by-step ...
Once the vegetable our moms would have to beg us to try ("just a bite!"), today, we can't get enough of cauliflower. It practically defines the word ...
(Paid Content) Scrambled eggs for breakfast? Yawn. Standard-issue pancakes? Predictable. To effectively get us out of bed in the a.m., we prefer a morning ...
Great drinks, a perfect soundtrack, the perfect lighting: all these things can make a party good. But what makes a get-together memorable? The food. Once ...
A few months back, Zoe Bain went boldly where neither of us had gone before: She completely barred herself from anything takeout (yes, even coffee) for two...
Every time we log into Amazon, it feels like everything — movies, tech gadgets, and random articles of clothing — is competing for our attention. But, ...
S'mores are a messy dessert favorite. But why not skip the sticky situation and enjoy yours in a cone
This may be news to you, but living in New York is kind of expensive. But, while it may always be the land of $17 cocktails and unmentionable rents, the ...
Sushi and NYC are two peas in a pod. They go together like bread and butter, sugar and spice, cheese and crackers — yeah, you get the picture. So whether ...