When interviewing Dorie Greenspan for our Guest Foodie, she kept mentioning Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple from her newly published Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere. I was intrigued.

“It’s great for dinner parties with cookies or ice cream. It’s good for holidays, when you put fruit dessert on table. Good for weekends. Good for brunch as well as dinner. Good to just nibble at it all the time.

This recipe doesn’t take long to prep, the time is in the 2-hour baking and basting, resulting in tender almost candied pineapple.

Sssshhh. Don’t tell Dorie, but when I tested it – I took a couple of shortcuts. I used orange juice in lieu of juicing whole oranges, and  purchased already cut pineapple. ‘

It was a huge hit at my book group!

– bonnie

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 Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple

1 ripe pineapple
1⁄2 cup (120ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 2 oranges)
1⁄2 cup (120ml) Cognac ,brandy, Scotch, Grand Marnier, bourbon, rum or other liquor (or an equal amount of orange juice)
1 jar (about 12 ounces; 340 grams) apple or quince jelly, apricot jam or orange marmalade
1 moist, fragrant vanilla bean, split lengthwise(optional)
Whole spices, lightly bruised, such as a few each of star anise, cardamom, coriander, pink peppercorns, allspice or cloves (no more than 3); fresh ginger slices; a cinnamon stick (broken); a small hot pepper (just 1 or a piece of 1); and/or black peppercorns (just a few)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple. Stand it upright and, using a sturdy knife, peel it by cutting between the fruit and the skin, following the contours of the pineapple. With the tip of a paring knife, remove the “eyes” (the tough dark spots).

Cutting from top to bottom, quarter the pineapple and then cut away the core. Place the pineapple in a baking dish or small roasting pan that holds it snugly while still leaving you enough room to turn and baste the fruit.
 Whisk the juice, liquor and jelly, jam, or marmalade together. Don’t worry about fully incorporating the jelly — it will melt in the oven — you just want to break it up. Pour the mixture over the pineapple, toss in the vanilla bean, if you’re using it, and scatter over the spices.

Bake the pineapple for about 2 hours, basting and turning it in the syrup every 20 minutes or so, until it is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. The fruit should have absorbed enough of the syrup to seem candied. Allow the pineapple to cool until it is comfortably warm or reaches room temperature. Laurent strains the syrup and discards the spices, making the dish more elegant, but I leave them in because I love the way they look speckling the sauce; if you’re going to strain the syrup, do it while it’s hot — it’s easier.

The temperature you serve this at is, like so much of this recipe, up to you — warm or room temperature is best, but chilled is also good.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Photo credit: Alan Richardson