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Fatima Iglesias enterprise//
Delicious pineapple

Delicious pineapple

PINEAPPLES, juicy, sweet and delicious. There seems to be quite an abundant crop this year with loads for sale on the highways, in the markets and at your local fruit stall. Different varieties are available, the traditional orange-coloured pineapples that tend to be rounded in shape and the more delicious sugar loaf. These tend to be more elongated in shape with the colour going from orange at the base to green at the top. But don’t be fooled by the variegated colour of this fruit, because as deceptively unripe as they may look, cut one open and you’ll find them dripping with juice and as sweet as could be.

Fatima Iglesias

Sometimes it can be tricky to determine the ripeness of a pineapple, but if you tug at one of the spiky leaves at the top and it releases easily, then your pineapple is indeed ripe

As delicious as they are they’re just as versatile. You can enjoy then in fruit salads, in pineapple upside down cakes and other delicious desserts, in ice creams and sorbets. You can make pineapple marmalades or preserves and enjoy their juicy goodness in Chinese stir fries. Whatever your desire, the next time you purchase a pineapple, buy two instead and use one up in one of the delicious dishes below!

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Rummy pineapple shortcakes with cream

For the shortcakes:

2 cups all purpose flour

4 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs baking powder

½ tps baking soda

¼ cup butter

¼ cup vegetable shortening

1 tps cinnamon

¼ tps nutmeg

1 to 1½ cups sour cream or yoghurt

2 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 400F

Combine dry ingredients, rub butter and shortening into mixture until it resembles fine crumbs, add enough sour cream or yoghurt to make a soft manageable dough

Pat dough or roll into a circle about 1½ inch thick, cut out rounds 2½ inches in diameter or cut into 2½-3 inch squares. Brush with milk

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove and cool

Makes 8

For the custard

3 egg yolks

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tbs cornstarch

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

Beat eggs with sugar until thick, add cinnamon, cornstarch and continue beating, add vanilla

Heat milk, pour into egg mixture and beat, return to pan and heat until mixture thickens, do not boil. Strain and cool

For the pineapple topping:

1 small pineapple, peeled cored and finely chopped

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1 tsp aromatic bitters

¼ cup dark rum (optional)

1 cup heavy cream or whipped cream (optional)

Heat a non-stick frying pan, add butter and melt, add brown sugar and combine with butter until melted, but not burnt, add pineapple and sauté, add bitters and cook until mixture is thick, pour on rum, if using and flambé, let flames burn down and continue to cook until syrupy

To assemble, halve one shortcake horizontally, spoon pineapple mixture onto one piece, cut side up making sure some of the juices soak into the cake, spoon some custard on top and cover with the other shortcake half

Repeat for other shortcakes. Top with a dollop of cream

* For a more hearty dessert use two shortcakes instead of one

Pineapple and chicken pasta salad

Pineapple salad

1 cup un-boiled pasta twists (fusilli or rotini)

2 cups cubed or stripped cooked chicken breast

or 2 cups small-sized shrimp, cooked

1 cup pineapple chunks, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 small sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced

¼ cup thinly-sliced celery stalks

½ cup chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup low fat sour cream or unflavoured yoghurt

2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 tbs red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup sliced green olives

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and cool

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar

In a large bowl toss cooled pasta with chicken, pineapple, pepper, celery and chives

Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat completely, Season with salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle on parsley and garnish with olives

Refrigerate until ready for use

Serves 6 to 8

Pina colada sorbet

Pineapple sorbet

14 ozs pineapple chunks

½ cup coconut milk, fresh

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 tbs lime juice

¼ cup dark rum

Place sugar and water into a small saucepan, stir to dissolve and bring to a boil just until sugar melts, one minute, remove and cool, refrigerate until cold

Place pineapple and coconut milk into the bowl of a food processor, process just until pineapple has been crushed into small pieces, remove and refrigerate

Combine pineapple and coconut mixture with cold sugar syrup; stir in rum and lime juice

Pour mixture into a 9-inch x 5-inch baking tin, freeze until firm about 4-6 hours

Remove from freezer, and process in a blender or food processor until smooth but not thawed

Place in a covered container and freeze

Makes about 4½ cups or serves 8-9 persons.