For as long as I’ve been a pineapple addict (aka my whole life), I’ve never preferred it any other way than plain. Straight up. Neat. Really, it’s because you can’t get better than a big, fat bowl of fresh pineapple chunks. You can grill it, but the soft, warm pineapple that comes off the grill just isn’t the same.
Then… along came Pineapple-Ginger Brown Sugar Crisp. Pineapple addicts, get ready for a new habit.
Simply stated, a bowl of Pineapple-Ginger Brown Sugar Crisp is a bowl of ginger-scented rays of sunshine coated in a thick layer of buttery, brown sugar-laced oatmeal perfection. Yes, the pineapple gets warm and soft after a stint in the oven, but the sweet-spicy fresh ginger also gets warm and soft, and the two flavors together are like a cosmic collision of awesome.
Since the Food Hound is a safe, judgement-free zone, I can admit that I would eat this with brunch or as a side dish, too. It’s not sickeningly sweet because there is no added sugar to the pineapple- its natural sweetness does the trick. Of course there is an abundant sweet, crunchy topping, but a life without a sweet, crunchy topping is no fun for anyone. Personally, I don’t serve my crisps with ice cream because I feel like it dulls the flavor of the crisp, and fruit crisps are perhaps one of my favorite things to eat. EVAH. But slap a scoop of ice cream on a hot bowl of this mess, and hearts will be breaking all over the world tonight.
Caveat: you have to love fresh ginger. I say this as someone who did NOT used to love fresh ginger. But then I lived in Hawaii, ate more variations of Asian food than I can count, and now I’m a huge, huge fan (except in gingerbread- can’t wrap my mind around fresh ginger in gingerbread. Weird.) The balance of fresh ginger in this crisp is on the fine line of perfect and overpowering, so if you’re lukewarm about fresh ginger, maybe start out with a half dose.
I’m never retracting my statement that chunks of fresh pineapple need no adornment, but… a fruit like this shouldn’t be a one-trick pony. No one would ever think to put it in a crisp, and now that I’ve tasted Pineapple-Ginger Brown Sugar Crisp, my love of this spiny, spiky, tropical fruit continues to grow.
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- 1 large fresh pineapple (about 4-1/4 lb.), peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into eighths, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- 1 T finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 T cornstarch
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- Combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, nutmeg, and ⅛ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until it’s about the size of small peas and the mixture resembles coarse, crumbly breadcrumbs; it should hold together when squeezed. Refrigerate, uncovered, while you make the filling.
- Put the pineapple in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, ginger, and a pinch of salt and whisk to blend. Stir the lime mixture into the pineapple. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the pineapple and stir again.
- Transfer the pineapple to a 9-inch square baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the fruit is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden-brown and crisp, about 15 minutes more. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.