Thursday, 23 March 2017

Harry Potter and the tap dancing pineapple

In  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Chapter 16 Through the Trapdoor J. K. Rowling writes that during the first year exams at Hogwarts ”Professor Flitwick called them one by one into his class to see if they could make a pineapple tap-dance across a desk.”
Sadly this scene wasn't used in the movie version of the book ! So you'll have to use your imagination !

Two of my favourites: Professor Minerva McGonagall and a pineapple.
(From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

"Thank you for the pineapple, by the way . . . you're quite right, it is my favourite" said Professor Horace Slughorn, Potions Master, to Tom Riddle as he reached for a piece of the crystallised fruit. (From  Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince)

Our re-enactment of that very moment!

Yes, there were some very shady dealings between Professor Slughorn and certain students in regard to crystallised pineapple . . . in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
"Horace formed a kind of club of his favorites with himself at the center, making introductions, forging useful contacts between members, and always reaping some kind of benefit in return, whether a free box of his favorite crystallized pineapple or the chance to recommend the next junior member of the Goblin liaison Office." Albus Dumbledore
"I confidently expect you to rise to Minister of Magic within twenty years. Fifteen, if you keep sending me pineapple, I have excellent contacts at the Ministry."  Horace Slughorn to Tom Riddle
“Once Harry saw Slughorn buying it for himself at Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. Crystallized pineapple symbolized his life-long love of luxury, even when Harry viewed him as a much-younger man and Tom Riddle's teacher: ‘sitting ...in the comfortable winged armchair in his office, his feet resting upon a velvet pouffe, a small glass of wine in one hand, the other rummaging in a box of crystallized pineapple’  

Classic Wizarding World Treats from Soytherin, Seitanclaw, Tofupuff and Vegandor.

“Whether trying to bribe him for information or to get on his good side so you can become part of the Slug Club, you can make Professor Slughorn’s favorite vegan treat–crystallized pineapple–yourself!

The first time I tried making this it didn’t turn out too well, but at least the results made really good pineapple-berry smoothies instead of going to waste. I then worked out what I had been doing incorrectly and gave it another try so now I can bring you a proper recipe! A warning though, this is fairly time-consuming and works much better if you have a dehydrator (unlike me).

Also, when you’re finished with the syrup don’t just throw it out. You now have pineapple syrup, which can be used for countless awesome things… sweeten iced tea, use in a frosting or glaze for coconut cupcakes (or coconut pancakes!), mix with cream soda and make a pineapple soda/coconut ice cream float, pineapple curried rice… the ideas are endless!”

Professor Slughorn’s Crystallized Pineapple

Amounts vary depending on how much pineapple you’re using; 1 pineapple, or canned pineapple rings; sugar; water
If using fresh pineapple: peel, cut into 1/4 inch slices, and cut out the core so you have nice little pineapple rings. (if using canned pineapple: open can and drain.)
In a large pot, make a simple syrup: 1 part sugar to 2 parts water. I used 4 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar for my one pineapple, but you just want to make sure the syrup will cover all the fruit. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Bring your syrup to a boil (if using a candy thermometer, it should reach 235°F). Add fruit and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, covered, until the pineapple is translucent.

Remove pineapple from pot and put on a cooling rack placed on top of a cookie sheet to drain.
Next step is to dry the fruit out. If you have a dehydrator, great! You can use that! However, if you do not have one just put the fruit (on the cooling rack & cookie sheet contraption) in your oven at 200°F until dry. This may take a while. Or, you could apparate to a desert and set it out in the sun to dry out.

Once your candied pineapple is dry, sprinkle with sugar and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, Dinah Bucholz 2010 Massachusetts

Pumpkin Juice

1 small pumpkin, known as sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin; 2 cups apple juice; 1 cup white grape juice; 1 cu pineapple juice

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C Slice the pumpkin in half pole to pole and scoop out the seeds. Don’t worry about the stringy fibers; they are had to remove and won’t affect the results. Place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour until soft. Remove from the oven.

2 When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Place the cooked pumpkin in a large fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and push the pumpkin through using a rubber spatula. Scrape and mash as you push; I will take several minutes. Discard the pulpy mass left in the sieve. Stir the sieved pumpkin in the bowl to evenly distribute the juices, and then measure out one cup.

3 Place the cup of sieved pumpkin in a pitcher along with the apple juice, grape juice, and pineapple juice. Stir vigorously until the pumpkin is completely dispersed. Chill the juie until it’s very cold.

4 Before serving, stir the juice well, as the pumpkin will settle to the bottom. Fill crystal goblets with ice cubes and pour the juice over the ice.

Makes 5 cups

I preferred not to discard the pumpkin mash left in the sieve and made little pancakes – or you could use it in a muffin or scone mix, Anne

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Pineapple and Coconut Puddin'

Mexican Cooking, including Latin American and Caribbean Recipes, Bay Books Round the World Cooking Library, recipe contributions by Susan Bensusan, New York 1977
Pudim de abacaxi e coco – Pineapple and coconut pudding

6 servings

1 425g can condensed milk; 1 1/3 cups milk; 2 egg yolks, beaten; 3 tblspn cornstarch; ½ ts vanilla; 1 prepared 23cm sponge cake layer; 1 cup pineapple juice; 1/3 cup rum; 1 450g can pineapple slices, drained; ¾ cup grated coconut; 1 cup heavy cream, whipped; cherries

Mix the condensed milk, milk, egg yolks, cornstarch and vanilla. Place in a double boiler and cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Continue cooking without stirring for 10 minutes. Cool.

Cut the sponge cake layer into 6cm squares and place in the bottom of a serving dish. Mix the pineapple juice and rum and sprinkle over the cake. Cover with ½ the custard mixture. Cut up ½ the pineapple and arrange over the custard. Sprinkle with ½ the coconut. Add a layer of the remaining custard and cover with whipped cream. Decorate with the remaining coconut, pineapple slices and cherries.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Pineapple and ricotta

Marching Koalas Celebrity Cook Book, Hunter Region High Schools Band 1991 Newcastle NSW

Fresh Fruit Platter contributed by Professor John Shaw, Director National Heart Foundation of Australia

You can use your own choice of fruit for this salad. Some ideas are: pineapple rings; grapes (could be frozen); kiwi fruit cut in wedges; orange segments; passionfrut halves; tamarillos cubed; strawberries; melon sliced and balled; mangoes sliced; apple slces dipped in lemon juice
Ricotta Topping:

¼ cup dried apricots soaked overnight; ½ cup liquid from apricots; ½ cup low fat ricotta cheese

Combine apricots, liquid and ricotta in a blender until smooth.

Variations: substitute apricots and liquid with 1 ripe banana and ½ cup of lemon juice or ½ cup orange juice or ¼ cup stewed apple and ¼ cup of liquid.

I used ricotta blended with a couple of Satsuma plums, yum, Anne

It was Jane's birthday, she absolutely, without a doubt, loved her present!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Coconut Chia Pudding with Caramelised Pineapple

Totally delicious, highy recommended!    Thanks Jess!     Makes 4


1 400ml tin coconut cream; 1/4 cup chia seeds; 3 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 1/2 pineapple sliced into 1cm slices, cored; Coconut oil (or butter)

To serve: toasted candied (or normal) nuts of any variety and coconut cream


1. To make the pudding: In the mixing bowl, mix together the coconut cream, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Cover with glad wrap and pop into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

2. To make the caramelised pineapple: Melt a bit of coconut oil (or butter) in the fry pan, add the pineapples slices and cook until browned, then flip and brown on the other side. Once browned, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

3. To assemble the puddings: Divide the coconut chia mixture among your jars, top with caramelised coconut. When ready to eat, top with coconut cream and toasted nuts.


Chia puddings will keep in jars in the fridge for up to five days.


Friday, 3 March 2017

Pineapple Ham Steaks Cooktown-style

Mrs Maurine Mason’s Cooktown Cookbook: From Dampers to Dinners: Five generations of Australian Cooking, Melbourne, 1989

Ham Luau
Ingredients: 6 ham steaks; 6 slices canned pineapple; ½ cup brown sugar; 1 tspn dry mustard; 1/8 tspn ground cloves; 1 egg; ¼ cup butter; 4 cups cubed bread; 1 dstspn mixed herbs of your choice; 1 cup pineapple juice from can
Method: Mix brown sugar, mustard and cloves with the pineapple juice. Trim ham steaks and place over pineapple rings on a greased foil lined pan. Brush over with the mixture and cover with foil and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.
Mix remaining ingredients with surplus mustard mixture and form into 6 balls, pressing firmly. Place one on each steak. Replace cover and bake a further 10 minutes, then brown without the foil cover. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot with a tossed salad and french fries.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A spice and pineapple mix

The Spice Exchange: A Celebration of Colours and Flavours 
“The Spice Exchange is a social enterprise initiative of Access Community Services Limited that utilises the culinary skills and traditions of refugee and migrant women to produce unique spice blends and condiments.
The Spice Exchange promotes multiculturalism by providing employment, training and work experience to culturally diverse women to develop their workplace skills and confidence in Australia” (from the website)

West Indian Jerk Spice – Pulled Pork with Banana Salsa

Ingredients for Pulled Pork: 1 cup of sea salt; 1 ¼ cups brown sugar; 2kg boned shoulder of pork, trimmed of rind, but leave fat; 4 tblspn West Indian Jerk Spice; 150ml pineapple juice; 3 tblspn treacle; 2 X 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed well; 2 cups of Greek yoghurt; shredded lettuce, to serve

Ingredients for Banana Salsa: 3 medium bananas, peeled and cubed; 1 red onion, finely sliced; 2 avocados, diced; 5 tblspn lime juice; 1 – 2 red chillies, finely sliced (exclude if you want the dish to be mild); small bunch of coriander, finely chopped; salt and pepper


1. Mix the salt and 1 cup of the sugar in a large food bag, then add the pork and coat it well. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
Remove the pork and wipe the meat down with a paper towel to remove any excess sugar and salt. Rub 3 tblspn of the West Indian Jerk Spice all over and sit the meat on a rack, in a roasting tin. Leave to marinate in the fridge, then 30 minutes before you start cooking, bring it out to room temperature.

3. Heat oven to 140C (120C fan/gas). Mix together the remaining sugar, remaining West Indian jerky Spice and the pineapple juice and rub half over the pork. Pour the other half into the roasting tin and roast for 6 hours. Baste the meat with the juices and roast for 1 hour more until the outside is charred and the inside is tender. Rest the pork on a platter for 20 minutes and pour any juices from the tin into a fat separating jug.

4. Put the diced banana and avocado in a bowl with the onion. Mix in the lime juice, chillies, coriander and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Heat the black beans and shred the pork with two forks. Discard the fat from the tin juices and serve the rest alongside for pouring. Serve the pork with the beans, salsa and roti bread.

As is evident from the photograph I didn't follow the recipe exactly . . . and cooked a pork fillet instead but the spices, marinade and salsa were really delicious! Thanks for the kit Ella and Rob, Anne

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Pineapple, Beautiful

Found some fabulous magazines from the 1950s that Mum had kept, one even contains a recipe for pineapple . . . Anne

Home Beautiful: Australia's How-To-Do-It Magazine, February 1956


Tropical Lamb Chops (to serve six)

Ingredients: 6 chops cut from large end of lamb loin about 2 in. (6cm) thick

Stuffing: 1 cup drained, crushed pineapple; 1 tspn grated orange rind; 2 tblspn finely chopped mint; ¼ tspn dry ginger; ½ tspn salt; 1 tblsp Soy Sauce if liked

Method: Cut pocket in fat side of chops. Mix stuffing and place 1 or 2 tablespoons in pocket of chops. Reserve remainder. Place stuffed chops in greased shallow baking pan. Bake in moderate oven, 350°F degrees (180°C), for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Heat remainder of stuffing ingredients with ½ cup drained juice from pineapple, and 2 tablespoons wine vinegar. Serve this as sauce. This is delicious served with creamed potatoes, green beans and side salad.

Judge's comment: “Lamb chops done this way provide a joint that can be used up in one meal with no left-overs and no waste. It is a good tender nutritious cut. Its seasoning is most unusual and offers a specially welcome change for people who have a surfeit of lamb or mutton, because it gives such a piquancy to familiar ways of serving the meat. This dish is particularly suitable for a small dinner party. It can be prepared before-hand, and put in the oven until serving time.

It is also easy to enlarge the number of chops for a larger party. It is a complete dish in itself, and served with potatoes, beans and salad is a complete course.”

Home Beautiful: Australia's How-To-Do-It Magazine, October 1955


Australian House and Garden May 1953

Australian House and Garden Annual 1959