April 1 is my new January 1. I have imposed a second quarter New Year’s Day upon myself because I have failed miserably at my New Year’s Resolutions. I have not forgotten the goals I set to make small improvements, it just seems as though I had to peel back a layer of life junk before I could get to them.
Sort of like how you have to peel the prickly skin from a pineapple to reveal the sweet fruit inside. The goodness is there all along, but you have to do a little work to find it.
One of the reasons I continue to blog is that it keeps me accountable to the ever-mounting pile of recipes I clip, copy, bookmark, and otherwise collect. Oftentimes, I simply enjoy the experience of a new recipe. It is somewhat rare that I think to make a new thing again.
But this spiced poached pineapple I will make again. And again and again.
Poaching pineapple in a simple spiced sugar syrup is a breeze. It takes a bit of time (four to five hours split across three steps) to allow the flavors to infuse, but active cooking time is only about 15 minutes. What you get is a spiced, sweet piece of fruit to enjoy alone, over ice cream, with cottage cheese, or any other way you enjoy your pineapple.
Despite my new found love for this dessert, there are two things to note. The first is the intense sweetness that results when you soak a naturally sweet piece of pineapple in liquid sugar. The second is the amount of sugar syrup the recipe yields. I could have easily poached two pineapples in the amount of syrup I made.
You may want to have some extra pineapple on hand or consider halving the simple syrup measurements. That said, there are plenty of ways to use up the extra simple syrup. Stir it into iced tea or lemonade or mix it with club soda or sparkling water. Experiment with using it in cocktails as well. I’m sure you won’t go wrong. Enjoy!
Spiced Poached Pineapple
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 pieces of star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
1 ripe pineapple
1 pint vanilla ice cream for serving, optional
- Stir together the water and sugar in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Stir in the star anise, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns. If using vanilla paste, stir it into the sugar syrup along with the spices. If using vanilla extract, hold tight; you will add the extract at a different step. Allow the mixture to steep for one hour.
- While the spices infuse into the sugar mixture, prepare the pineapple. Cut off the top and bottom and remove the prickly peel. Quarter the fruit lengthwise, cut out the core, and chop into one-inch chunks.
- After an hour has passed, set a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan and pour in the syrup. Place the spices in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the pineapple chunks to the saucepan with the syrup, bring to a simmer, and cook until a fork or skewer easily pierces the pineapple, about two to five minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the pineapple and syrup into the large bowl with the reserved spices.
- Allow the mixture to sit for one hour to cool to room temperature. If using the vanilla extract, stir it into the mixture after it has cooled to room temperature.
- Refrigerate the pineapple and syrup until cold, about two to three hours, before serving alone or over ice cream.
You can also enjoy the pineapple with bowl of yogurt or cottage cheese.