If you fear that you've been stuck with an underripe pineapple in your fruit bowl but can't shake the craving for a juicy bite of this heavenly tropical fruit, we've learned how to sweeten it to perfection: stick it in the oven and bake it. This trick concentrates and intensifies the natural sugars in the flesh, turning a tart pineapple into a deliciously honeyed treat.
The biggest benefit of this technique is that you don't need to prepare your pineapple in a particular way before placing it in the oven. You don't even need an oven tray. Simply place the entire fruit, including the leaves, directly onto the center rack of a preheated oven at a low 225 degrees Fahrenheit (remove any produce stickers that may be on the outer rind of the fruit first). Then, allow 20 minutes for the pineapple to bake before removing it with oven mitts and placing it on a cooling rack. Once the fruit has cooled off (you can even pop it in the fridge if you like it chilled), prep and slice it as usual by removing the outer skin and discarding the fibrous center.
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Why Does Baking A Pineapple Make It Taste Better?
On tasting, you'll find that it doesn't have the tart edge often present in fresh pineapple, which can occasionally elicit a raspy mouthfeel as you eat. This tingly phenomenon is triggered by an enzyme called bromelain, which digests the proteins on your tongue and can even cause it to bleed if consumed in excess. Baking your pineapple sweetens the flesh and mostly eliminates the effects of bromelain. It also softens the pineapple fibers, making it softer and juicier, leaving you with a deliciously luscious fruit to incorporate into your favorite recipes or toss straight into a fresh fruit salad.
This baking tip is, more than anything, a super-rapid way to ripen. You can, of course, wait for it to convert the sugars through natural ripening or place it in a paper bag with an ethylene-emitting fruit to speed along the process. Just remember to prep it at the perfect spot before it over-ripens and spoils. No matter how you choose to sweeten this tropical fruit, there are a multitude of ways to savor its delicious flavor. Enjoy your extra sweet pineapple on a pizza, whizzed into a piña colada, or baked again in a pineapple upside-down cake.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.