Summer is back on my island. Or what I like to think of as my island, when in reality I live in a city at least a couple of hours from the nearest beach…even more if you are looking for the pristine shores you see in travel magazines. That being said, I am still a part of this archipelago and thusly take island life as my birthright. As I take tropical island fruits as my birthright.
Mangoes, bananas, mangosteens, guavas, papayas, chicos, rambutans, jack fruit, star apples, and pineapples…I love them all. Sweet, creamy, or juicy…they tell tales of warm sunny days and clear blue skies under which they basked with nary a care in the world. When the weather turns steamy, as it is unapologetically doing right at this minute, my thoughts and my market basket turns to these fine specimens of the tropics.
Mangoes, as I have already mentioned, are at the top of my list. I thank God every day that I live amongst the finest. Pineapples are a close second – its toe-curling sweetness and sticky juiciness heralds summer in with pomp and promise. Even succeeding in distracting me from the heat for the few glorious moments I am enjoying it. My favorite way to have pineapples is the same as with mangoes – straight from the fridge. There is nothing quite like chilled tropical fruit on a hot hot HOT summer day.
Although this isn’t bad either…
Brown Sugar Roasted Pineapple
- 1 small pineapple
- about 4 tablespoons brown sugar (I used demerara sugar with large crystals)
- Slice your pineapple as I did here, but leave the slices thick.
- Lay pineapple slices on a baking sheet or pan and sprinkle with brown sugar. Depending on the size of your pineapple, and your penchant for sweets, you may need more or less.
- Roast in a 200C oven for about 20-30 minutes or until edges are caramelized.
I know roasting fruit in the heat of our Philippine summer seems counter intuitive, and adding sweetness to an already perfectly sweet fruit may seem pointless, but hear me out. Sometimes one needs variety, even in the blinding heat of summer when all you want is to lay still with cold wet towels all over your body. Yes, I know that eating pineapple straight from the fridge is all you can fathom doing right now. But just try…try to get your flip-flopped feet to the oven and give this a go. It is too easy to even warrant a recipe, even if I did try to eke one out for you here. It is infinitely adaptable and forgiving (use as much or as little sugar as you want, use less or more than a whole pineapple, grab that bottle of rum and add a splash). And when you pile a couple of caramelized slices in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream you will be glad you took the little effort it takes to make this :)
If you are one of my co-islanders, hang on, as this is looking to be one of our hottest summers yet! If you are on the other side of world, perhaps in a place where it is as cold as it is hot over here, I’ll trade you some of this pineapple for a box of fresh snow!