Archive for: pineapple
An icy, blended pina colada is a drink that reminds me of being on vacation in Hawaii, where I’ve had some of the best pina coladas (in the best atmosphere) that I can remember. It’s a combination of coconut, pineapple and rum blended up with lots of ice. Every time I have one, it takes me back to my last trip out there. And even if you haven’t been to Hawaii (yet), the tropical flavors in a pina colada can give you the feel of what it is like to sit on the beach with a tropical drink.
Of course, these Pina Colada Scones aren’t quite as cooling as an icy, blended drink – but they still do capture the flavors of the tropics. They include coconut milk, shredded coconut and dried pineapple. They’re buttery and tender, with a good coconut flavor to them and just enough pineapple to make the idea of the cocktail come through. These are “virgin” scones and don’t include any alcohol, but if you want to make them even more like the drink, you can add in a splash of rum extract to give it a hint of rum flavor.
Fresh pineapple has a lot of moisture in it that can make the scones soggy, so dried pineapple works better in this recipe because it keeps the scones light and tender. Freeze dried pineapple, finely chopped, could also be used and is another option for infusing these with pineapple flavor. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut in these and both will give you good results. I prefer to use sweetened coconut because it helps boost the coconut flavor a little bit. The scones are best the day they are made, but they will keep well for a day or two when stored in an airtight container.
While I do like a classic chocolate chip cookie, I find it very hard to say no to a good oatmeal cookie. Oatmeal adds a great flavor and texture to cookies, making them tender and adding a slight nuttiness that goes well with any mix-in you might want to include. I often make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies are a family favorite, but I took these Tropical Oatmeal Cookies in a different direction and used pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts in them for a summery, tropical flavor.
The cookies are buttery and slightly chewy, but not too sweet. This allows the other flavors in the cookie to really shine. I used sweetened, shredded coconut and dried pineapple, which I coarsely chopped into small pieces. Dried pineapple is definitely the way to go in this recipe because fresh pineapple really just has too much moisture and will take these from cookies to small, moist cakes. Macadamia nuts add a nice crunch, and I included some dried tart cherries for a pop of color and a little contrast to the very sweet pineapple (although they’re not exactly tropical fruits).
This flavor combination is addictive and these are sure to be a favorite variation on some of my staple recipes in my house. The pineapple and coconut work well with other fruits and nuts, too. Candied ginger could be used in place of the cherries, and walnuts or cashews could stand in for the macadamia nuts. Even better, you could add a splash of rum extract to take these from a tropical fruit taste to a tropical cocktail taste for a snack that delivers a mini vacation!
A Hummingbird Cake is a classic Southern Cake that is reminiscent of a carrot cake, without the carrots because of its fruity and spicy flavors. It is a very moist cake, full of pineapple, chopped bananas, cinnamon and pecans, and it is usually topped off with a rich and tangy cream cheese frosting. There is no hummingbird in the cake – despite the name. In fact, it’s not entirely clear where the name originally came from, although the first printed instance of it can be found in a 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine and a recipe by Mrs. L.H. Wiggin.
Many hummingbird cake recipes call for a tremendous amount of oil. This makes for a cake that is both moist and tender, but can also make for one that feels very dense and oily. This is often true of carrot cake recipes, as well. Since the fruity additions to the cake – pineapple and bananas – bring a lot of moisture themselves, I much prefer to cut back on the amount of oil in my cake and use buttermilk to add a little extra flavor and tenderness to the finished product. The result is a cake that is a hit every time I bake it. It is very moist, without seeming heavy, and you get a little bit of every element in the cake in every bite, from juicy pineapple to crunchy pecans.
This is a great entertaining cake, easy to make and impressive when served. It keeps very well when stored in an airtight cake keeper, staying very moist even when made a day or two ahead. While you could frost the top and sides of the cake, I prefer to simply use cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top of the cake. You get a great cake-to-frosting ratio and a very unfussy cake assembly. Reserve a few pecan halves to garnish the top of the cake.
Tarte tatin is an upside down tart made in a skillet, with a crust made of puff pastry. They’re typically made with apples, but the tarts can actually be made with a wide variety of fruits. This is a Pineapple Tarte Tatin, made with cubes of fresh pineapple. The tart has a great combination of buttery pastry dough, sweet caramel and even sweeter pineapple.
The tarts are extremely easy to make because of the way they use a skillet. A caramel sauce is cooked in the skillet on the stovetop and fruit is added into it. A sheet of puff pastry is then draped over the cooked fruit and the edges of the pastry are tucked in around the filling mixture like a blanket. The whole skillet is then popped into the oven to allow the pastry to crisp up and then it is inverted onto a serving plate, revealing a beautifully caramelized fruit tart. It is imperative that you use an oven safe skillet to make this tart, so I recommend using an all-metal pan (such as stainless steel or cast iron) to cook and make sure you have a heavy duty oven mitt available when it is time to take the tart out of the oven.
I used fresh pineapple for this tart (and you should be able to get enough fruit from a medium-sized pineapple), but you should be able to used canned pineapple with no problems if you don’t have fresh fruit. The tart goes exceptionally well with extra caramel sauce and with coconut ice cream, although it is very nice to eat on its own. This type of tart is best when it is fresh out of the oven and the pastry is nice and crispy, so make it at the last minute whenever possible.
Pineapple doesn’t make it into my baked goods very often. This is partially because it is a little bit inconvenient to chop up a whole pineapple for just a cup or so of chopped fruit and partially because I just don’t have that many recipes for it. But this is a shame because pineapple is a fruit that cooks very well. Roasted pineapple, a great summertime dessert, is sweet and tender, and pineapple baked into a muffin, bread or cake turns out the same way.
Since I had some leftover pineapple in my fridge (from a time I was feeling motivated to cut up a whole, spiny fruit), I decided to take my own advice and bake it into something for a snack. The result was pineapple muffins. These muffins are moist and tender, and the small chunks of fresh pineapple seem to triple in sweetness as the muffins bake, giving the finished treats a great tropical taste.
I added a little bit of shredded coconut and a little bit of orange zest to these muffins to highlight the pineapple flavor. The coconut adds a little bit of texture to the muffins and definitely brings out the tropical-ness of the pineapple. The orange zest brings out the citrusy notes of the pineapple, making the whole muffin taste brighter. Lemon or lime zest would make a great substitution, too.
Serve these muffins while they’re still slightly warm with a little bit of butter. They make a great snack in the afternoon, but are easy enough to make (as long as you have some pineapple on hand) that they are well worth the effort of getting up a few minutes early so you can bake a batch for breakfast.