Monday, June 30, 2014

Caramelized Pineapple Sorbet

When I was a child my mother often made pineapple upside down cake because my father really liked it. The pineapple rings would caramelize as the cake baked on top creating the most fabulous smell that permeated our home. This sorbet is reminiscent of the nostalgic flavor of roasted pineapple. Studding the pineapple with vanilla beans and bathing it in caramel syrup adds depth to round out the rich mellow flavors.

There is no need for an ice cream maker with this easy recipe. Just freeze the puréed fruit then add to the food processor to incorporate some air and create a smooth texture. Serve from the food processor or refreeze until ready to serve.

It is quite tasty on its own, but a healthy splash of dark rum makes it sublime.

Use a sharp knife to peel and cut up the pineapple. The end of a vegetable peeler is helpful to remove the eyes so you don't have to peel the skin too deeply.

Don't worry if the caramel syrup turns a little solid on the pineapple or in the dish. It will turn back to liquid during the roasting process as it mixes with the pineapple juices.

The caramelized pineapple studded with vanilla bean smells amazing while baking.

Cut the pineapple into chunks to make puréeing easier. Add some water to make a smooth puree.

Spread the pineapple puree in a glass contain. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until solid. The pureed frozen pineapple will be lighter and more airy.

Caramelized Pineapple Sorbet

1 ripe pineapple
2/3 cup (145 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (150 g) water
1 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃).

Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple with a sharp knife. Peel and quarter the pineapple. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the eyes so you don't have to remove the peel too deeply. Remove the tough core. Place in a glass baking dish.

Slice the vanilla bean down the middle then cut into 8 small pieces. Made two incisions in each pineapple quarter. Insert a piece of vanilla bean.

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Stir to combine. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase to medium heat and boil gently until the syrup turns light amber colored. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the pineapple pieces. The syrup may start to harden, but it will turn back to liquid as the pineapple cooks in the oven.

Roast the pineapple in the oven until caramelized and a knife easily pierces the flesh 30-40 minutes. Place the glass dish on a rake and allow the pineapple to cool. Once cooled remove the vanilla bean pieces. Cut the pineapple into pieces and transfer to a food processor or blender including all the caramelized juices. Purée the pineapple until smooth. Add some water if it is too thick. It will have the consistency of applesauce. Put the puréed pineapple in a shallow glass container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for 2-4 hours until solid. Transfer the frozen pineapple to a food processor or blender. Add some water and pulse until smooth. The mixture will lighten. Serve immediately or return to the glass container and freeze until ready to serve.

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