PLUS learn to make Pera-Pina (Pineapple Rice Drink) with the leftover rind!
My Dominican friend stopped by this morning with a fresh pineapple!
I love fresh pineapple–it’s just so sweet and refreshing. Some experts are now saying pineapple holds the secrets to reducing inflammation and pain, too.
As much as I love fresh pineapple, I rarely buy an uncut one. Mostly because I’ve never been able to cut a whole pineapple correctly. I always feel like I am cutting off too much fruit and throwing most of it away.
Enter my lovely Dominican friend–Santo Espinal–with a bag full of fruit and a fresh pineapple. Since I have always struggled with the proper way to cut a fresh pineapple, I seized the opportunity to document the correct way to cut one from a true expert! PLUS I got a delicious new drink to make with the unused rind and core…ALL of which I am going to share with you today.
How to Expertly Cut a Fresh Pineapple:
- Twist off the crown and remove any dead leaves on the bottom.
- Using a sharp knife and holding the pineapple steady with one hand, begin making long cuts to the rind. Be sure to remove enough rind that the dimples don’t remain.
- Work your way around the entire pineapple until all of the rind is removed.
- Lay the pineapple on its side and cut about a half inch from the bottom.
- Keep all the pineapple trimmings, excluding the crown, for making the pineapple rice juice.
- Turn the pineapple upright and cut off a side.
- Remove the tough core of each side–as if you are filleting a fish–and then chunk up the remaining fruit. Keep the tough core for the juice.
- Chill the fruit and enjoy!
How to make Pera-Piña, aka Pineapple Rice Juice:
- Chunk the pineapple rind and core and place it in your Dutch Oven.
- Add 1 cup white rice and about 1/2 cup of oatmeal to the rinds.
- Fill the pot up with water and set to boil.
- Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. The mixture is starchy, so expect a film to form on top.
- Process the entire contents in a blender. You may have to do this in batches, as I did, because it requires a bigger blender than I have.
- Strain the blended juice–admittedly this part is difficult as my blended juice was very, very thick and still super hot to process. If this happens to you, I’d suggest you add water to your mixture to help strain it better. Or you can skip the straining and use a spoon to scoop out any big pieces that may be left behind.
- Sweeten if desired. Most Dominicans add sweetener, but I could see not doing this.
- Chill the juice thoroughly before serving.
And THAT, my friends, is how you expertly handle a fresh pineapple according to a native of the Dominican Republic. Oh! And you also learned how to be extra frugal by using the discarded fruit for a delicious drink!
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe and instruction, please let me know. My Dominican friend Santo knows a LOT of interesting recipes and is always trying to show me them. If you are interested in learning more about Dominican/Caribbean food and culture, he is ready and waiting to show us all a few things!