‘Tis the time of year! This is a great gift from the kitchen, though admittedly The Goddess has been know to plan to give this away, and it never quite makes it out of the kitchen. So she’s sharing the recipe with you, just in case you don’t receive a jar, now you can make it yourself. This is a truly terrific, unusual and extremely delicious condiment. And dare I say, it makes a perfect hostess gift. Most people love homemade treats such as this.
It’s incredibly simple really—fresh pineapple, cider vinegar, white sugar, and whole spices. You’ll make the brine the day before, and let it sit overnight. The next day, you’ll throw the pineapple chunks into the brine and let them steep in that hot loveliness for a few minutes. Then put the hot pineapple chunks in a clean quart jar, pour the brine over, cap it off, let it cool to room temperature, refrigerate and wait. Yes, you’re going to have to be patient. Good things come to those who wait…remember that? But, you can still give it to the hostess and make her wait. Look at that. Isn’t that gorgeous?
It needs to “chill” for at least a week, but it will keep for weeks in the fridge. I can guarantee that you won’t have this around for that long. And whatever you do, DO NOT throw the brine away. No, no, no…this is the base for a marinade, or a really great vinaigrette. I just added a couple of tablespoons to a butternut squash soup I’m making.
Sweet & Spicy Pickled Pineapple
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup white sugar (if you want it sweeter, add more sugar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1 large fresh pineapple cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 strips of orange zest (optional)
Combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to the boil, boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and leave overnight.
The next day, return the brine to the boil. Meanwhile, get a clean, wide-mouthed quart jar. Place 1 piece of the orange rind in the bottom. As soon as the brine boils, add the pineapple pieces; remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pineapple pieces to the jar, packing them in snuggly, but without smashing them up too much. Some of the whole spices may come out with the pineapple pieces. Place the remaining piece of orange zest on top of the pineapple.
Return the brine to the boil. Pour the brine over the pineapple, wipe the rim, cover tightly and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate the pineapple for at least 1 week before using; the longer it sits in the fridge, the better the flavor. I like it served cold, but it’s very good at room temperature. Excellent with a cheese platter or served with roasted or grilled chicken or pork. Will keep for several months in the fridge.
NOTE: If you have leftover brine, strain out the whole spices, cover tightly in a glass jar and refrigerate. The brine will keep almost indefinitely. It is excellent to use for a vinaigrette or a marinade. You can add 4-6 slices of fresh ginger to the jar with the chunks.
Sweet & Spicy Pickled Pineapple Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
You can spear a piece of pineapple and a cube of a nice smoky ham, et voilà! an appetizer! I’m going to try this with mango, but the mango isn’t quite ripe enough yet…I’ll let you know.