Fruit is a wonderful thing. Fruit is often quite healthy for you, and it can be just as strongly flavored as it is vibrantly colored.
There are thousands upon thousands of different species of fruit for you to choose from, if you are someone who enjoys growing fruit as well as eating it and cooking with it.
However, one of the many downsides of fruit, compared to other types of foods, is that it tends to go bad relatively fast. Fruit also needs to be stored in a specific way so that you can try to get what little lifespan you can out of it before it becomes completely unusable.
Generally, when people buy fruit, it is either to eat it soon or to cook with it very shortly.
With that being said, there will often be situations when you buy some fruit and forget about it for one reason or another. It could be that you forgot about it because you were busy, or it could be that you became preoccupied with something else. No matter what that reason is, this tends to happen from time to time.
What that leaves you with is overripe fruit.
Some fruits can be eaten while they are technically overripe, even if the taste isn’t what it should be or the texture is a little bit off. Other fruits should be avoided at all costs when they become overripe, as this is a sign that they will begin growing mold and attracting fruit flies soon.
Even if you don’t necessarily want to eat overripe fruit the way it is, there are some recipes that actually take advantage of overripe fruit.
For example, pineapples are a beloved fruit for their sharp taste and their unique appearance. Despite their tough and thorny exteriors, these fruits can also quickly become overripe and begin to go bad.
This is often characterized by their leaves turning brown and beginning to droop, as well as the interior of the fruit developing soft, brown spots.
At this stage, it will still be safe to eat on its own, although if the brown spots begin growing white dots, that is a sign of mold and the pineapple should not be eaten. Before it reaches this stage, however, there are several other things that you can do with the pineapple if you do not want to eat it on its own.
1 – Baking a Cake
One classic pineapple recipe can be used, even if the pineapple is beginning to become overripe. This recipe is known as a pineapple upside-down cake, and it is relatively common in certain parts of the United States.
The base of the cake calls for pineapple rings, for which you can use your overripe pineapple. Because this recipe involves baking those rings, you will not have to worry about the texture of the brown spots affecting the cake at all.
If the appearance of the brown spots is bothersome, you can sacrifice the uniform pineapple rings to cut away the brown spots to continue making the cake.
For the base, you will want to use a mix of the pineapple rings, brown sugar, and butter. This will help with the flavoring of the pineapple, as pineapple is incredibly acidic, and it will also help keep the rings in place.
Next, you will want to simply place the rings on the bottom of your cake pan and pour a prepared standard yellow cake mix on top.
If you really want to liven things up, you can put cherries in the holes of the pineapple rings to give the cake more flair and flavor.
The reason why these are referred to as pineapple upside-down cakes is because once the cake has finished baking, you will flip it upside down to create the finished cake. This should, if it all works out properly, leave you with the yellow cake as the new base of the cake and the pineapple rings as the new topping.
2 – Making Sorbet or Smoothies
Sometimes, the worst part about overripe pineapples is the fact that the texture is not what it is supposed to be.
Pineapples are well known for their texture, and to have the overripe brown spots feel so different can be incredibly off-putting. What is important to remember is the fact that the pineapples still taste as they normally do and that they are still safe to eat.
If it is just the texture that is an issue, there is a simple way to fix that. All you have to do is turn the pineapple into something with a completely different texture, preferably a more uniform one.
You can choose whether you would prefer to make a sorbet or a smoothie, depending on your taste, the ingredients you have on hand, and the amount of time that you have. Both of these solutions will work to create a new pineapple-flavored dish without the strange texture that an overripe pineapple has.
For many people, creating a smoothie is a much easier, much less time-consuming method of using up pineapple. Once the pineapple has been skinned and the core has been removed, you can continue cutting up the pineapple as you normally would if you were making any other type of smoothie.
It is generally recommended that you add other ingredients to the smoothie to counter the acidity of the pineapple, especially if you want to make the smoothie smooth and refreshing.
Once you have found the ingredients that you want to use, all you need to do is put them in a blender and blend away. Before you know it, you will have a refreshing pineapple drink without having to worry about the pineapple being overripe.
For sorbet, there are going to be more steps included in the process of creating the sorbet. Essentially, what you will be doing with the pineapple is turning it into a puree.
The puree will then be used in the sorbet, sometimes along with other ingredients, to create a smooth and delicious dessert without any of the overripeness of the pineapple being noticeable.
Similarly, you can also cut the rings up and use them in ice cream and other desserts, as long as you avoid using the brown spots that are overripe. These are just a few of the ways that you can create a pineapple dish, even with an overripe pineapple.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.