Grilled Pineapple with Chestnut Honey
Thick slices of pineapple, brushed with honey, are the basis for this tropical dessert off the grill. Chef Jean Joho adds a tropical sauce which combines honey, pickled ginger, aged rum, and pineapple juice, and a scoop of coconut ice cream. If you’ve been using the grill to prepare your meal, toss a few more briquettes into the hot grill when your main course comes out. The coals will be ready when it’s time for dessert. Chef Joho says he particularly loves the hot and cold contrast in this dessert.
- Pineapple - 1 Large, Golden-ripe
- Chestnut Honey - 3 teaspoons (alt. other flavorful honey)
- Pickled Ginger - 1/4 teaspoon, minced
- Aged Dark Rum - 2 tablespoons
- Pineapple Juice - 2/3 cup, fresh
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Quenelles - 6 scoops (alt. coconut ice cream)
- Pistachio nuts - 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
Prepare a grill for direct heat cooking: Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until covered with light grey ash. Or, light a gas grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the cooking grate on top, brush with a little vegetable oil, and let heat for a minute or two until hot.
Prepare the pineapple: Cut off the top with its stiff leaves, then cut away the hard skin. Reserve 18 of the smallest leaves for garnish. Trim out the eyes. Remove the core. Cut the pineapple crosswise into 3/4-inch to 1-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared grill and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute, until marked by the grill. Lift the slices, turn 45 degrees, and grill again to create crossing grill marks. Brush the slices with a little of the honey. Turn and grill 30 seconds on the second side. Remove when the pineapple slices just begin to soften; set aside on a plate, grill marks up.
Heat a skillet over the coals and add the remaining honey. Cook until the honey begins to caramelize and turn a deeper color. Add the ginger and cook 30 secoonds. Pour in the rum and pineapple juice and stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until slightly thickened and reduced by about one third in volume. Remove from heat; set aside.
To serve: Place a slice of pineapple, grill marks up, on each dessert plate. Gently whisk the butter into the sauce, then spoon sauce around each slice of pineapple. Top each with a scoop or quenelle of ice cream and stand 3 reserved pineapple leaves in each. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.