Courtesy of Chef Kjartan SkjeldePrint
Pina Veracruzana (Pineapple Veracruz Style)
1 medium-to-large pineapple
2 cups white sugar
2 Vanilla Beans cut into small pieces
1–1/2 cups dark rum
Place vanilla beans in the dark rum and allow to sit several hours (overnight or longer if possible).
Remove the ends of the pineapple, and then peel, leaving the pineapple whole. Using a melon ball spoon or a grapefruit spoon, remove the spines. Stuff the small holes with pieces of vanilla bean. Place in a baking dish and set aside.
Place 2 cups of white sugar with a bare 1/8 cup of water in a heavy saucepan. Put on high heat, and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Allow sugar to caramelize, stirring occasionally or tipping the pan back and forth, until sugar is golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a few minutes.
Add the dark rum to the caramelized sugar and return to heat. Bring to a boil and allow mixture to reduce by about 1/3. Pour hot syrup over the pineapple and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake for about 1 hour, periodically basting the pineapple.
When pineapple is baked, remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Serve sliced lengthwise or in rounds, on a pool of Crème Anglaise or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ladle some of the caramelized sauce over pineapple or ice cream. Add a touch of freshly ground black pepper if desired.