I really love pineapple and I never even knew it for a crazy long time. I really fell in love with it in Maui on my very first vacation with my now husband. A pineapple pie at Leoda’s Kitchen turned me into my pineapple-loving self and this fresh pineapple crisp is the perfect take on it. Juicy fresh pineapple with a warm and crunchy brown sugar and cinnamon topping…I mean, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
Where do I get fresh pineapple?
I get mine at the grocery store – and I am pretty sure every where sells them. My local grocery store even peels and cores them for you – how about that?! Prime season for pineapple is March through July, so I am sharing this recipe at just the right time.
A few things about fresh pineapple:
- It does not get any riper once it has been cut from the tree – so don’t bother buying one and leaving it on your counter to ripen.
- A good, ripe pineapple will be heavy.
- The leaves on the pineapple should be green and look fresh, if they are brown or dying that is not a good pineapple.
- Smell it. Fresh pineapples that are ripe and delicious will smell as such.
Can I use canned pineapple instead?
Absolutely. Canned pineapple has a bit more water so you just want to make sure to drain it pretty good if you are using; however pineapple that is canned or jarred in syrup is not a good substitution – you will not be able to control the sweetness level in this if you use that.
Tips for the best fresh pineapple crisp recipe.
I have a few…
Cut the pineapple into smaller pieces that you think. the pineapple will not break down so much like some other fruits when baked. In my experience it holds it shape more, so a cut it smaller.
This recipe doesn’t have a lot of added sugar, I don’t recommend tweaking with extra sugar – pineapples are SUPER SWEET all on their own. That is part of the beauty of this – less processed sugar 🙂
Bake until it is bubbly and you can visibly see the bubbles and that the juice has thickened. If you don’t and you take it out of the oven prematurely, it will be a sloppy mess.
Last thing…the topping!
I just have a few things to say about this. I call this topping my half topping – all of the measurements are half…half cup, half teaspoon – could not be simpler to remember! The ‘crisp’ in this fresh pineapple crisp is an incredibly simple crumble topping made with butter, flour, brown sugar, vanilla and MACADAMIA NUTS – because well, Hawaii. If you don’t have macadamia nuts available or they are too expensive (they are kind of expensive in my opinion), no problem – use any kind of nut you like. I have used pecans in this before. Another great addition is coconut which I highly recommend giving a try.
Fresh pineapple crisp
- 1 pineapple peeled, cored and diced into bite-sized pieces - roughly about three cups of pineapple if you are not using a whole pineapple
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice just give a quick squeeze
- pinch of salt
For the crisp topping
- 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark it doesn't matter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts or whatever nuts you like and/or unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla bean past or extract
For the pineapple
In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt to combine. Add the pineapple, vanilla and squeeze of lemon juice and toss to coat all the pineapple with the flour/sugar mixture. Place in the baking dish.
For the crisp
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, and with a wooden spoon, or your washed hands, mix together, making sure to fully incorporate the butter with the flour. It should be a crumbly dough consistency. Sprinkle this on top of the pineapple.
Bake in middle rack of oven for about 45 minutes or until all the juices have thickened and are bubbly.
I like this served as is, but my family really enjoyed it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Note - you may want to bake this on a lined baking sheet, depending on the size of your baking dish, in case in bubble over. Mine didn't as shown, but it has happened to me in the past when I used a smaller baking dish.
pssttt…if I have got you dreaming of Maui right about now check out my best banana bread ever – my adaptation of the greatest bread I have ever eaten from a little hut in Maui.