Friday, August 12, 2011

Preserving My Sanity With Pineapple Jam

I am one sick puppy. I know that some of you reading this are fasting - as am I - and yet I throw this image in your face? This crispy, crunchy, ooey, gooey, melty, cheesy, sweet n salty bite of utopian pleasure?! Yup, there's a special corner of hell reserved for me. I guess I can't help myself when it comes to mind-control. Silly thing just keeps wandering back to the contents of my refrigerator, and coming up with crazy ideas about how to use, and eat, everything in it. *Sigh* Dear God, please be patient with your incorrigible servant - I just need to get through writing this blog, and then I won't even think about food till sundown! Pinkie promise.

All right, now that I've worked out my deal with The Big Guy, let's get down to the business at hand. While many of you may already have made and stored your gorgeous jams and preserves for the upcoming winter months, here is one tropical fruit that you should try squeezing in.
Meet the prickly pineapple. Her personality is akin to the sexy librarian. All prim n proper, with that tough, don't-touch-me persona on the outside. But come night-time, some dance music, maybe some alcohol, or maybe just the right kind of company, and her pointy armor comes flying off to reveal the exotic party-animal inside!

Now let me tell you, I didn't choose this pineapple. It chose me. I got it as a house-warming gift. Clearly I haven't been in the mid-west long enough, because I was told this is the tradition here. Surprising, and a little puzzling, but clearly delicious. For the longest time this pineapple sat on my kitchen counter, and waited for its fate to be revealed. I finally discovered it when I came across this recipe for Pineapple Tarts by Shirley over at Kokken 69.

I didn't make tarts out of it, and I've tweaked the recipe to give it more oomph, but I've already used this jam in a variety of ways. all of which have made me tres tres happy. So go on, take your own prickly pineapple out on a date, and you'll soon see how much fun she really is!

Pineapple Lime Jam
Makes one jar

1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
1 lime, zest and juice
1 cup sugar (or more if your fruit isn't sweet enough)
1 small cinnamon stick
2 cloves
Method: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about an hour. Mash up the fruit and remove the cinnamon stick. Let it all cool, then pour into a jar with an airtight. Refrigerates really well for a number of months.
Verdict: One teaspoon of this tropical sunshine was wonderful with a dollop of cream cheese, all wrapped up in a puff pastry bundle. Or you could also schmear it on some freshly baked biscuits. Of course, it worked perfectly simply spread on toast in the morning.
But my favorite application by far, was sandwiching it in with some sharp cheddar and slices of turkey, then grilling it till all the flavors melded together to form one heckuva glorious anytime-sandwich.
One a side note, my heart swelled up with joy to see such a huge portion of the food blogging community rise up to support a fellow blogger, Jennie, as she is going through an unimaginably tough time. I didn't make pie, but I did buy one, and shared it with some wonderful friends. Sharing food is a universal expression of love, and I *heart* all my fellow foodies.