Pineapple is native to Brazil and central America, but is now a favorite crop in tropical and subtropical climates. Pineapple is a good source of manganese, as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C and B1.
Pineapple makes an excellent marinade and tenderizer because it contains bromeline, an enzyme that digests protein. The enzyme also keeps gelatin from setting, so pineapple is not good for fruit jellies.
I love pineapple but I seldom buy a whole pineapple. This is because I’m intimidated by the task of cutting up a pineapple. There are lots of so called eyes on the pineapple which need to be removed.
I guessed the exporter of pineapples are aware of this and nowadays, you’ll find a little brochure attached with the pineapple illustrating how to cut up a pineapple.
First, you remove the top and bottom of the pineapple.
Then, you stand the pineapple up on the flat bottom and cut the pineapple into quarters.
Remove the core which is too fibrous to eat.
Next, I divide the quarters into eights. A slimmer piece makes the removal of the skin easier. The last thing is to remove any remaining eyes on the pineapple.
To make the pineapple filling, I used:
- 2 pineapples
- 180g rock sugar (I added more because the filling is very tangy)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Finely chop the pineapple in a food processor.
Transfer the grated pineapples to a pot and add the rock sugar and cinnamon powder.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated.
This is the most daunting part. It took me 3.5 to 4 hours to get the liquid evaporated. I was thinking if I drain the pineapple first to get rid of some of the juice, it will take me less time to cook it. But, on the other hand, I would want the pineapple filling to have a very concentrated flavour of pineapple by cooking off the liquid slowly. Well, is there a better way to do this? I wonder if this can be done in a slow cooker without the constant stirring.
After almost 4 hours of cooking, I finally ended with a bowl of pineapple fillings for the Tangerine Cookies and Pineappple Tarts. No wonder those homemade Pineapple Tarts are so expensive. I used to buy them in Malaysia for Chinese New Year celebration. It is so labour intensive to produce.