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Sunshine in a Bowl

May 26, 2011

When it’s summertime, there are few things I love as much as fresh fruit. In the winter, I eat fruit anyway because it reminds me of summer. One of my favorite fruits is pineapple: it’s a great source of Dietary Fiber and it contains a wealth of Vitamin C. Plus it looks pretty cool.

Sometimes, though, you want to do something more with your fruit than just chop it and eat it. Well sigh no more, because I have something different for you.

First, peel, core and cube your pineapple.

Then eat some of it. There really is nothing like fresh fruit, and this recipe won’t miss a few chunks.

While you’ve got your knife out, finely mince 1-2 Tbsp. fresh ginger root. Next, in a medium saucepan, pour in just enough lemon juice to cover the bottom and add the ginger root. Cook and stir it on low heat until the lemon juice begins to boil, then continue to cook and stir. The goal is to soften the ginger root and extract some of its juices, but not to brown it. If it starts to brown, add a little more lemon juice.

After a couple minutes, add 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, one Tbsp. at a time, stirring until each is dissolved. Continue to cook until the mixture is thick and honey-colored.

Add the chopped pineapple to the ginger mixture, and try to get most of the juice that will have seeped out from the pineapple. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring regularly, for 10-20 minutes, or until the pineapple has settled and is at the same level as the liquid.

With a potato masher, mash the pineapple a little, separating any particularly large chunks.

In a small bowl, whisk 3 Tbsp. corn starch with 3 Tbsp. lemon juice. If the mixture is too thick to pour, add a little more lemon juice. Add to pineapple and stir well. It should thicken instantly. At this point, you can leave it be or thicken it more, depending on your preference. I thickened it until it was a marmalade-like consistency.

Now put it in something pretty and serve!

You can serve it warm or chilled, and you can refrigerate the leftovers in a jam jar for a long time. With all that pineapple, it won’t go bad in a hurry.

You can use it as a spread on warm, toasted bread, like I did:

Or you could use it on a dessert, like pound cake. I have a hunch you could even eat it like salsa with tortilla chips.

With the pineapple and lemon, this has a delightfully fresh flavor, and the ginger adds a slightly warm overtone that lingers behind. It tastes particularly good when eaten on your own front porch and in the company of summer breezes.

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