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Spiced pineapple crumble

31 January 2019

What could be more welcome in the throws of January than a taste of the tropics? I love visiting our local market at this time of year - crates of sunny citrus fruits, fluorescent pink forced rhubarb and tropical pineapple, papaya and mango bring colour and brightness to these grey winter days.

A dose of vivid colour - and flavour - is certainly welcome in the kitchen too, and there is something lifting and affirming about having a fruit bowl full of bright tropical fruits on the side at this time of year. I adore fresh pineapple - sliced up and served with a squeeze of lime, a little brown sugar and even a sprinkling of chilli flakes - but also love to cook with it for warming winter puddings. If you can't get fresh pineapple, then make this with tinned or Nature's Finest potted pineapples as I do below. Gently cooked before the topping is added, this recipe sees the pineapple transformed from sharp and acidic to sweet, jammy and fragrant.
1 small pineapple, peeled and diced, OR 1 400g pot of Nature’s Finest pineapple pieces
1 lime
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
50g coconut sugar
60g almonds
30g wholemeal or spelt flour 
60g oats
Pinch salt
30g coconut oil
30g macadamia nuts
20g coconut flakes

Heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan. If using fresh pineapple, cut off the rind, top and tail, then use your knife to remove any seeds from the flesh. Dice up and cut away from the core, discarding the hard middle. If using tinned or potted,  drain the pineapple, retaining 50ml of the juice. Place the pineapple and retained juice in a small pan. If using fresh pineapple, place this in the pan with 50ml of water.

Add the juice and zest of the lime, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and 30g of the coconut sugar to
the pan. Set over a low heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Continue cooking until the
pineapple is fragrant and well coated in the coconut sugar syrup. Remove from the heat, and
transfer to an ovenproof dish.

To make the topping, place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until ground to a fine,
sandy texture. Do not over grind - the nuts will become oily if over processed. Transfer the almonds to a large bowl. Add the remaining 20g of coconut sugar, flour, oats and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add the coconut oil. Use a fork to gently break the oil into the mixture. Once in small pieces,
use your finger tips to quickly rub the coconut oil into the flour. The mixture should look
crumbly and soft. Stir through the macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. Spread the topping over the pineapple.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the surface of the crumble is golden and the fruit is bubbling at
the sides.

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