Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taste of Hawaii Pineapple Crisp

Last Saturday when i was buying groceries, i came upon a sale of pineapples. 1.99 each! I could not believe the price, so even though i have never used fresh pineapple in a recipe, i grabbed one. I also grabbed two mangoes for 99 cents each, but that will be another story. I took it home and the pineapple sat on the counter until Tuesday. Finally i decided it needed to be cut and stored, so i did an internet search and went with a method that seemed easiest for me; knives seem to dislike me, thankfully i have never cut myself any more than what a tissue and band-aid couldn't handle; but still i have cut myself a lot. So i peeled and chopped the pineapple, and stuck the pieces still on their core into an empty ice cream container. This afternoon while at work i remembered about it and asked my cubical neighbor what i should do with the fruit. She said I should try Upside down cake (something we had been discussing last week as a good dish to bring to an April Fool's potluck).

I knew i had a recipe for an upside down cake in a new baking book i had just bought. I checked the recipe and it turns out to be for apples, peaches or pears. I really did not want to experiment to much on a recipe i have never tried, and this one took a mixture of brown sugar, butter and other things with the apples before the cake. I was afraid with the pineapple it would be to sweet to keep all this in, but i was equally afraid to just omit it. I have apples in the refrigerator, so i will try it at a later date. So i grabbed another book off the shelf (i have a lot), this one called 'The All-American Dessert Book'. I checked the index, no pineapple upside down cake (but they did have peach). I searched just pineapple and found this dessert. I thought and thought, almost changing my mind, but i am glad i decided to go with it. Here is the professional picture.

Taste of Hawaii Pineapple Crisp.

1+2/4 cups flour.
1 cup packed brown sugar.
Generous 1/4 tsp salt.
12 Tbsp (1+1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (divided)
5+1/2 cups fresh pineapple OR three 15 oz cans tidbits, well drained.
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest.
1/2 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger root (optional).
1+1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
1/2 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut.
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, preferable unsalted (optional)
Vanilla ice cream for serving.

Preheat oven to 400 F, position rack to center of the oven. Grease a 9 inch square or 7 by 11 inch baking dish, or coat with non-stick spray.

In medium bowl, throughly stir together flour, brown sugar and salt. Sprinkle all but 2 Tbsp of the melted butter over this. Stir until topping is well blended and forms clumps.

In a large bowl, throughly stir together pineapple, 2/3 cup of above mixture, lemon zest, ginger root (if using) and remaining butter. Spread this filling evenly into baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Stir coconut and macadamia nuts (if using) into remaining topping. Spread evenly over pineapple, breaking any large clumps with fingers. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until topping is well browned. Let cool to barely warm, then serve with scoops of ice cream.

The crisp is best fresh but will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Let come to room temperature or reheat in low oven to barely warm before serving.

First off, i must say i used Becel, and I skipped both the ginger and nuts. I have never liked macadamia nuts, and i did not have ginger root on hand. I basically chose this recipe because it said they were optional. This is very sweet, i only had a small serving (it looks big above, but this is a tea saucer), and since i only have mint ice cream, i skipped it. I will have to get some vanilla sometime tomorrow.

I also didn't tightly pack the brown sugar, thankfully or else it would be much sweeter. I find it easier to just loosely pack it no matter what the recipe states. It saves me a bit of sugar and calories and i have not had any recipe issues as of yet. After the first few stirs, i found it easier to use my hands to mix the topping. It came together quite nicely that way.

This is the filling going into the oven. I left the pineapple chunkier than what comes from a can, and I almost sliced my thumb when cutting it up into the pieces. Thankfully, i missed. This recipe made my house smell divine! I pulled it out at about a quarter to ten, so i am sure my neighbors across the hall are impressed with the smells going through the building this late at night :-)

And now, i have to pack up the rest into the refrigerator and off to bed. it is almost 11 and i have been up since 7:15. It was a rushed morning today, i had a meeting at eight, and had meant to get up at 6:30 (i only live a ten minute walk from work, so mornings don't have to be to early). I guess i accidentally set the alarm clock for pm instead of am. I hit the ground running and was out the door in 25 minutes!

Hope the week is going good for everyone, and no more time mistakes for me, don't have to get up until nine tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for the yummy taste Natasha! This was an excellent dessert. You could tell that it wasn't canned pineapple because of the beautiful, fresh flavor. I'm going to definately give this one a go for my next big family dinner.
    - Colleen @ work

  2. Thank you, and you're welcome :-)