Sunday, July 29, 2012

agua de piña & how to cut up a pineapple

Agua de Piña (pineapple water) is what you want to drink if you want to escape to a sunny beach holiday in a glass. And if you live in NYC, this is about as sunny yellow it's going to be in the next few days.....

If you've ever bought this delicious beverage when you're out and about, it can be an outrageous $4.50 or 5 bucks (or more) for a measly 16 ounce plastic cup. Sheesh!!! And in a restaurant? Fuggedaboutit.....You'll probably drop the same $5 on a glass even smaller.

Most aguas frescas have a substantial amount of sugar in them. And they're watered down considerably. My recipe has two ingredients, pineapple and a little bit of water. But before we dive into a glass of sunshine, let's work on cutting up the pineapple.

Picking a ripe pineapple isn't hard at all. Your nose knows! If it smells like a sweet and juicy pineapple, it probably is. Another way is to tug at the pineapple's fronds and if it pulls out easily, it's ripe. Or so "they" say. But if you've bought a pineapple and are not completely sure if it's ripe enough to eat, leave it on your counter top for 1 -2 days. When it's permeating the entire room it's time to cut it up. 

On a clean cutting board, lay your pineapple on it's side. Grab a knife. A serrated knife is best and yes, mine is massive.

Cut off the top fronds and base of pineapple.

Turn your cut pineapple upright so that it's sitting flat on your board. Using your serrated knife, begin to cut off the outer piney skin. Try not to cut off to much of the fruit.

Sometimes your cuts aren't completely clear of "eyes". Just gently slice them off. 

No need to core the pineapple since everything is going into a blender. But if you're planning on eating some of it, you'll need to cut out the core. The core is only good for juicing or gnawing on.

Time to make Agua de Piña!!!

Agua de Piña
makes about 8 cups

1 ripe pineapple - plus core, cut up into chunks
1 - 2 cups water
juice of a lime (optional)
sugar (optional)
***I didn't need to add any sugar to my Agua de Piña, but if you're pineapple isn't that sweet, add a little sugar to taste.***

In a blender or a food processor, blitz about 1/3 of the pineapple and 1/2 cup of water until the fruit is completely pulverized. Place a fine sieve or strainer over a large bowl or pitcher. Gently pour your pulverized fruit into the sieve or strainer. At this time you may need to move around the pulp with a spoon or spatula in the strainer to extract the juice. Once strained, throw away the pulp. Repeat the blending and straining process until you have used up all of your fruit. 

Chill and serve over ice. You can easily turn this into agua de piña colada by substituting the water for coconut water. And add a shot of pickin' up what I'm throwin' down???

Agua de piña.....a sunny beach holiday in a glass.....

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