By Angela Denstad Stigeler
If you’re feeling a little soggy from all our April showers, now’s a good time to take advantage of a sunny seasonal fruit: pineapple. This tropical treat has a big boost of vitamin C and plenty of fresh appeal, but it’s also very versatile and lends itself to many cooking methods. By applying the right culinary technique, you can transform this spiky fruit into an elegant dessert, cooking it into its own caramel sauce in minutes. This simple dessert option focuses on the fruit, and will up your cooking IQ in the process. So, not only will you be cooking up a storm, you’ll quickly transport your table from our chilly storms to a taste of the tropics.
Pineapple Wedges in Caramel
1 small pineapple (about 2 ½ pounds with green top)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
Crushed pistachio nuts, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream (optional), for serving
Plain cookies (optional), for serving
Cut off the green top and base form the pineapple and cut the pineapple lengthwise into 8 wedges. Remove the core and skin from the wedges.
Heat the butter, brown sugar, and orange juice in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring just until the sugar is moistened. Add the pineapple wedges in one layer, bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes without stirring. Uncover, turn the wedges in the pan, and continue to cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan near the end, until the syrup in the skillet turns into a thick, dark caramel. Turn the wedges in the caramel, and transfer the contents of the skillet to a gratin dish or serving platter.
When lukewarm, sprinkle with the rum and pistachio nuts, if you like, and serve at room temperature with sour cream and cookies, if desired.
Recipe from Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin