This week’s obsession: Pineapple Pickin’
A word of caution to you, my friends, during this COVID time. I strongly advise against having a glass of wine (or three...) before placing your grocery delivery order for tomorrow. Because when it arrives, you may be shocked! Or in my case, mildly confused. Because you just might end up with a delivery that looks like this:
Aside from the fact that drinking wine encouraged me to buy THREE MORE BOTTLES OF WINE, I think the worst part here is that I decided I needed a pineapple. In the fall. While living on not-an-island.
As per usual, that pineapple looked much better in the advertisements. 🤦🏻♀️
So now I have this pineapple, and I feel as if I might as well share my knowledge about how to properly pick one, which is my Tip of the Week.
Step 1: Do not let your grocery delivery service pick a fresh pineapple for you.
Step 2: Determine if your pineapple is ripe before you buy it. But how? I learned this tip from a very old, very Cajun man who lived down on da bayou many many years ago. To tell if your pineapple is ripe, find the leaf at the very center of the crown. Pull on it. If it comes out very easily, it’s ripe and ready to go. If you have to tug on it to get it out or if it doesn’t come out at all, move on to the next pineapple until you find a leaf that releases with ease.
Full disclosure: my pineapple wasn’t ripe. #nosurprise
This actually wasn’t the worst thing though, because it gave me some time to decide what to make out of this whole dang pineapple. Plus I had leftover French buttercream from a previous baking project that I have not yet told you about, and I needed to brainstorm how to make these two things fit together.
I immediately thought to make pineapple upside down cake, but ughhh that style of cake is SO overdone and so sweet that my teeth hurt just thinking about it. And if I intended to smear whatever pineapple treat I made with the leftover French buttercream, which is already very decadent, it would have been tastebud overload to pair them together.
But then I found a chef's blog/recipe who claimed that you can replace the apples in Apple Butter Cake with just about any fruit that you’d like. Have you ever enjoyed a butter cake? If you’re from the South, I’m betting you have, but I’m collecting friends from all over the globe now and I’m starting to figure out that some of you fear butter. (Fun fact, I almost just purchased a canvas print that says, “I do not fear butter!” as a playful addition to my kitchen but I was sternly talked out of it because it might 'freak people out' 🙄)
Butter cake a) has a ton of butter and b) includes fruit that is cooked in a ton of butter. It’s not overly sweet because the point of this style of cake it to let the flavor of the butter shine through, and after cooking the pineapple in butter and adding melted butter to the cake batter, it’s no wonder why it was aptly named.
After I let my cake layers cool, I peeled off the parchment paper and there was a light film of butter seeping out of it, so I know I did it right. Also because of the amount of butter in the recipe, there was a light crispiness to the tops of the layers that I didn’t want to cover with frosting - usually I do what's called "trimming the cake" where you slice off all of the darker outer areas of the cake. It's purely for aesthetics, but also provides you with a great snack since the darker outer areas are where the deepest sugar caramelization happens so the flavor is #excellent!
I decorated this cake as a “naked cake” for these reasons, and used up the rest of my buttercream on top of the cake with triple rosette towers.
And then I felt a pull inside of me insisting that sprinkles go on this cake. Who am I to say no to the whispered sprinkle voice? So sprinkles there are!
True to form I sent photos of this cake to my neighbors that afternoon who came over to eat cake and enjoy my attempts at Mai Tai cocktails, and a good time was had by all. (Plus I sent them home with the rest of the cake.)
So there you have it - try my pineapple tip next time you are buying one, and certainly don’t let someone else do it for you!
Happy eating, y’all!