Caramelized Pineapple With Black Pepper Syrup

"This is a little bit of messing around but I think that you will be pleased with the results. Start with an ordinary pineapple, poach it and then roast it and you end up with an amazingly intense pineapple taste. This requires some advance preparation and must be started the day before you plan to serve it. This recipe comes from Rozanne Gold's Recipes 123. Ms. Gold suggests using pineapple wedges but I have made this using both fresh pineapple rings or fresh pineapple chunks. You will need to reduce the poaching time a bit if you are using the smaller chunks. I think that the smaller pineapple chunks or rings make a more elegant presentation rather than the wedges but it's up to you."
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  • With a sharp knife, cut the skin off the pineapple, then cut the pineapple into 6 lengthwise wedges. Remove the core. (Alternatively cut your pineapple into rings or chunks if you wish a different shape than the wedges).
  • Bring 4 cups of water and 3/4 cup of the white sugar to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add the pineapple. If necessary add a bit more water to cover the pineapple pieces. Lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the pineapple is tender but not to soft. (Note that the cooking time with be less if you use the smaller pineapple chunks or rounds so keep and eye on it).
  • Remove the pineapple from the syrup using tongs and place the pineapple into a large squat glass jar or bowl. (Do not use metal).
  • Return the syrup to the heat and bring to a near boil. Continue to cook the syrup to reduce it until you have 2 cups remaining. Pour the syrup reduction through strainer over the pineapple. Let it marinate overnight.
  • The next day remove the pineapple from the poaching liquid. Return the poaching liquid to the stove and further reduce it over medium high heat until one cup remains. Once it is reduced, remove from heat, add the 1 tsp of butcher grind black pepper. Let the reduction cool.
  • Place the pineapple on a baking sheet and sprinkle heavily with the remain 1/4 cup white sugar. Broil until the pineapple begins to caramelize. Turn pineapple pieces and broil the remaining side(s) for 1 minute.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream and top with the Black Pepper Syrup.

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I am a classically trained chef and a grad of NECI in Vermont. I ran my own catering company for years and then decided to switch gears and go to law school. I now practice law and cook just for fun. I enjoy cooking for friends and DH and I entertain regularly. I also cook for my three golden retrievers and have found several wonderful biscuit recipes here at Zaar. I collect cookbooks and food literature. My all time favourite food writer is MFK Fisher. If you have not read it, I commend her short story "Borderland " to you. It is one of the most evocative pieces of food writing ever. My current favourite cookbook is "Urban Italian - Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food" by Andrew Carmelini. For years I managed to hang on to all of my back issues of Gourmet some of which date back to the 1980's. Sadly, I recently lost that particular battle and to promote marital harmony, I am recycling my old mags but am posting my favorite Gourmet recipes along with some interesting ones worthy of a test drive.
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