South African baby pineapples, also known as Queen Victoria, boast a gorgeous prominent golden color which immediately caught my eye at the market the other day. I couldn’t resist buying a few. Not only they are fragrant and sweet with a bold, rich flavor but get this – the inside is entirely edible, so no need to remove the core. Groovy, isn’t it?
When you come across a fruit that’s already perfect it’s almost a crime to mess with it too much. On the other hand, i would feel equally guilty to write a post about sliced pineapple. I don’t want you, my dear readers, to ask for a refund on this post. What do you mean it’s free!?.. Really?..err .. nevermind, then. Anyway i decided to build great flavor into the fresh pineapple without too much extra fuss. I’m a big fan of caramelized pineapple, so much in fact that i often serve a composed dessert that consist of caramelized pineapple with a flourless walnut cake and a rum sabayon at dinner parties. While it’s a great dessert it’s still a bit too much for these baby pineapples. Simple is all you want sometimes.
The perfect counter-balance to the exotic aroma and deep caramel tones is a simple, refreshing coconut sorbet. It goes well with the tropical theme of our story and it’s a match made for the Gods but wait, there’s more…
The extra mile of oomph comes from the coconut-curry cookies from my friend Laurent who founded The Flat Turtle, a cookie company based in New York that offers delicious gourmet cookies for the adult palette. They pride themselves in the fact they prepare your cookies from the best ingredients – only when they get the order – never before. Those coconut-curry were buttery and crumbly just like the best French sablés should be. The expert combination of curry and coconut in the cookies hits all the right notes and makes the perfect addition to this dessert. So don’t forget to check them out on Etsy for more interesting flavors like chocolate-coriander and lemon-thyme cookies.
“Is he gonna shut up, yet? What about the giveaway?”
No, no, i didn’t forget! The Flat Turtle has generously offered to send a tasting box (like on the picture above) to a lucky reader of this blog. Yes, that means you! All you have to to is leave a comment below. Eaaasy! A winner will be picked at random. You have until Sunday, February 7th at midnight (eastern time) to enter.
Caramelized Baby Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet
- serves 4
Caramelized Baby Pineapple:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 Queen Victoria pineapples, or 1 ripe pineapple
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar (for simple syrup)
- 1/2 cup water (for simple syrup)
- 1/3 cup Malibu Rum
Caramelized Baby Pineapple:
- If using Queen Victoria pineapples, cut them in half, carve the inside with a small knife and scoop it out with a large spoon. Cut in large chunks and reserve the skin/top part for serving. If using a regular pineapple, remove the skin and the core and cut into 8 wedges.
- Heat the butter in a large saute pan over high heat until foamy. Add the sugar and cook until deep golden brown. Add the pineapple and cook, making sure to roll it in the caramel so it gets caramelized evenly. The whole process takes 10-15 minutes depending on the size. When the pineapple is glazed and a beautiful amber color transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Serve with coconut sorbet and coconut-curry sorbet.
- To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Cool completely.
- Stir the coconut milk, milk, cream and the tablespoon of sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl on top of ice to cool rapidly. Stir 1/3 cup simple syrup + rum. When completely cold, transfer to an ice cream machine. Reserve the coconut sorbet in the freezer.