An easy recipe to help you make use of this lovely fragrant fruit when you find it reduced in price at the supermarket. (It only takes 40 minutes to roast a whole pineapple!)
4 tablespoons maple syrup or runny honey
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper or red peppercorns, lightly toasted and crushed
Vanilla ice cream to serve
1. Remove both ends from the pineapple. Remove the skin with a sharp knife and cut out any knots.
2. Place the whole pineapple on a sheet of tin foil. Spoon over the maple syrup or runny honey making sure all the pineapple is coated. Sprinkle on the Sichuan or red peppercorns, making sure to roll the pineapple as you do it. Lightly close the tin foil to make a package. Place the pineapple on a baking tray.
3. Bake the pineapple in a preheated oven at 200º/400F/Gas 6 for 40 minutes – check to see if it is done by pricking it with a fork (the core will always stay quite firm so don’t worry about that). The flesh on the outside of the pineapple should be soft. If not, bake for another 5-10 minutes. (The baking time will depend on the size of your pineapple).
4. Slice the warm pineapple, place a slice for each person on a plate with a drizzle of the hot syrup that is left in the tin foil and a spoon of ice-cold vanilla ice cream. It is also excellent served for breakfast with thick Greek yogurt.
Recipe Note: you can also cut long vertical slices from the pineapple, avoiding the tough core. They look lovely served on fig or hydrangea leaves drizzled with leftover syrup.
A note on how to choose a ripe pineapple
A pineapple is ripe when it smells fragrant and delicious and has no soft spots on its skin. Pulling a leaf out of the top of the fruit is not a good way of checking ripeness – in fact, it can mean the opposite and may be easy to do because the flesh inside has gone soft.
Photograph copyright foodpixies.com