How to Carve a Pineapple

Carving a pineapple often means slicing off the ends, skin, and eyes, but there are other ways to use your knife skills to serve up visually stunning fruit. For instance, remove the flesh from a pineapple half to create a fruit basket that can hold a colorful fruit salad. Also, try slicing a quartered pineapple into chunks to create a pineapple serving tray. If pumpkins aren’t available, hollow out a pineapple and turn it into a jack-o’-lantern. Carve a pineapple to impress guests and enjoy fruit in style.
EditSteps EditMaking a Fruit Basket Divide the pineapple in half lengthwise. Lay the pineapple on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice through the entire pineapple, including the stem. To do this more cleanly, press the knife’s tip down through the center of the pineapple, then lower the heel of the blade. Turn the pineapple around and repeat this on the other side.[1]

Work slowly to get a clean cut that makes the pineapple basket look its best! Use a smaller knife to cut around the edges of the skin. Position the blade about from the pineapple’s outer edge, behind any brown eye spots you see. Carefully cut all the way around the pineapple. Hold the pineapple steady with your other hand and turn it as needed.[2]

Be careful not to pierce the bottom of the pineapple. Try using a paring knife or fillet knife to cut at the proper depth. If you plan on making only 1 fruit basket, select the pineapple half that looks best to you. Store the remaining half in the refrigerator after wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make a pair of slices in the center to remove the core. Feel the pineapple to identify the hard inner section running from the stem to the bottom edge. Using a sharp knife, slice along the edges of the core, being careful not to cut through the bottom of the pineapple. Then, lift the core out with the tip of a knife or spoon.[3]

If possible, turn the blade as you reach the bottom edge of the core. Cut underneath it to make it easier to remove while also saving the sweeter fruit around it. If you can’t remove the core right away, leave it in place. Cut up the rest of the fruit, then scoop the core out with it. Slice the remaining fruit into smaller chunks and remove them. Cut across the pineapple's width. Divide the fruit into sections about thick, taking care not to break the pineapple’s skin. Slide the chunks out with a knife or spoon.[4]

Set the chunks aside in a bowl. Cut them up later to add to the fruit bowl or save them for another purpose. Store unused pineapple chunks by refrigerating them in airtight containers for up to 4 days. Scoop out any remaining fruit on the bottom of the pineapple. Sometimes a little bit of flesh sticks to the skin, making pineapple bowls look uneven. Use a spoon or melon baller to scrape out these pieces. Save these pieces in a separate bowl to use later.[5]

These pieces are too small and uneven for the fruit basket, but one way to use them is to liquefy them in a blender and pour the juice over the fruit basket as a topping. Fill the basket with colorful, sliced fruit. Any fruit works well in the basket, so choose what you like or what happens to be in season. Break all of the fruit down into smaller pieces that will fit in the basket. For instance, cut the pineapple chunks you removed earlier into smaller pieces about in size. Mix all the fruit up and add it to the pineapple shell to create a colorful treat.[6] Expect to need about 4 cups (700 g) of fruit to fill each basket. This amount will vary a little depending on the size of the pineapple and the fruit used. Add different colors to the pineapple shell to make your fruit basket stand out. Strawberries and blackberries are a few options that add contrast to pineapple chunks. EditCreating a Serving Tray Cut a pineapple in half from bottom to stem. Place the pineapple on top of a cutting board and hold the pineapple still as you slice through it with a long, sharp knife. Cut down through the leafy stem to divide it as well. Work slowly to ensure you get 2 similar halves cut cleanly.[7]

If you don’t have a knife longer than the pineapple, make multiple cuts. Start in the center of the pineapple, then cut to 1 end. Turn the pineapple and cut through the other end. Slice the pineapple in half again to divide it into quarters. Set the pineapple on the cutting board with the cut side face up. Hold the pineapple’s stem to keep it still. Cut from the stem to the bottom end of the pineapple.[8]

Repeat this cut for the other pineapple half if you plan on serving it the same way. Otherwise, wrap it up in aluminum or plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you use it. Use a smaller knife to separate the core from the fruit. Choose a sharp fillet knife or something similar and lay it horizontally across the pineapple’s width. Before cutting, touch the pineapple to locate the hard core running down the center. Slide the knife underneath the core, then slice down to the other end of the pineapple. As long as you don’t cut the core, it will stay in place for visual effect.[9]

Another option is to remove the core right before you divide the fruit into bite-sized pieces. From the top of the flesh, make 2 diagonal cuts, or a “V,” towards the bottom of the core, then slide the core off the fruit. Run a knife along the skin to separate it from the fruit. While holding the pineapple still with your free hand, cut down into the flesh at 1 end. Follow the contour of the skin over and up the other side. Cut above the brown eyes, leaving about of space between the knife and the pineapple’s outer edge.[10]

If you left the core in place, avoid cutting through it. Stop your knife when it passes through the flesh. If your knife isn’t long enough to cut all the way through the pineapple, slice about halfway through it. Turn the pineapple around so the other side faces you, then repeat the cut to free the flesh from the skin. Slice the fruit into triangles about thick. Divide up the loose flesh with a paring knife. Slip the knife underneath the core, cutting across the width of the pineapple. Cut straight down through the fruit to turn it into bite-sized pieces that are easy for any guest to grab.[11]

Bigger chunks are fine, but make sure you cut the flesh up evenly so it looks visually pleasing. Push the pineapple chunks left and right in an alternating pattern. The pineapple pieces are not attached to the skin, so all you have to do is move them aside with your fingers. Slide them over so they stick out from underneath the core, then serve the trays as a snack.[12]

EditDesigning a Jack-O’-Lantern Cut the top off the pineapple with a sharp knife. Lay the pineapple flat on a cutting board. Measure about down from the top of the fruit, leaving the leafy stem intact. Slice all the way through the pineapple.[13]

The best pineapples to use for a jack-o’-lantern are ones that feel firm to the touch. Look for slightly underripe pineapples with green skin and leafy tops. Score an X-shape through the core. Look for the brown eyes around the pineapple’s rim. Right behind 1 of the eyes, push the tip of the knife all the way down to the bottom of the pineapple. Cut diagonally through the pineapple’s center and towards the opposite end. Then, remove the knife and make the second cut.[14]

The knife may cut through the bottom of the pineapple if you aren’t careful. Keep track of the knife’s position and make the cuts more shallow if you think you might break the pineapple’s skin. Use the knife to cut around the pineapple’s rim. Start at the end of 1 of the diagonal cuts you made. Keep the knife behind the eyes, leaving a margin between the knife and the pineapple’s skin at all times.While holding the knife vertically, slowly make a circle. Basically, you connect the ends of the other diagonal cuts to remove the inner portion of the pineapple.[15]

Keep the knife in front of the eyes around the pineapple’s rim so you have plenty of space to carve out a face later. Scoop out the insides with a spoon or melon baller. Remove the quartered inner flesh 1 portion at a time. Slide the spoon around the circular cut you made, then use it to leverage out the fruit. Do this as much as needed until you are able to see the bottom end of the pineapple.[16]

The last bit of the core at the bottom may be a little tricky to remove. If you can’t scoop it out, try cutting another “X” into it, then use the spoon or melon baller again. Move the pineapple chunks to a separate bowl. They are good as snacks or as part of a recipe. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Draw a face on the pineapple with a marker if you desire. Take a quick look at the outer edges of the pineapple to see if you like any side better than the rest. Then, begin sketching a face onto the pineapple’s skin. If you prefer to carve the face freehanded, skip the outline and get a knife.[17]

Choose a metallic marker, such as one with silver ink. The lighter color shows up better on a pineapple’s dark skin. Carve out the face with a paring knife or another serrated blade. Orient the pineapple so the outline is in front of you. Then, cut out whatever design you want your jack-o’-lantern to have. For a simple design, try making 2 triangles for eyes, then a long grin with 2 square teeth in the center.[18]

Another simple way to create a design is to use a drill to make a few holes in the skin. Place the holes where the lines meet on the pineapple’s skin. Place a light source inside the pineapple. Light a small tea light or install an LED in the center of the pineapple. Set the top back on the pineapple when you’re done. The light will shine through the parts you cut out, so you have a decoration ready for the holidays.

If you don’t plan on putting the pineapple outside right away, leave it in the refrigerator. You don’t have to wrap it up. It will last at least 5 days, sometimes longer. EditTips If you plan on eating the pineapple, look for yellow fruit that feels a little soft to the touch. Green pineapples that feel mostly firm make for stronger jack-o’-lanterns. For an easier time removing a pineapple core, get a coring tool. It’s inexpensive and available at most kitchen supply stores. EditThings You’ll Need EditMaking a Fruit Basket Cutting board Carving knife Paring knife or utility knife Bowl Pineapple EditCreating a Serving Tray Cutting board Carving knife Paring knife or utility knife Pineapple EditDesigning a Jack-O’-Lantern Cutting board Carving knife Paring knife Spoon or melon baller Bowl Metallic permanent marker Pineapple EditReferences

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