Upon arriving at a Varadero Beach resort (Cuba) in June, I realized I had entered paradise. The pristine white sands against the turquoise ocean looked surreal. To add to this dreamy state were the tropical Caribbean trees and fruits.
Truly vine-ripened in the sun, an array of sweet, luscious fruit is served at all hotel buffets. As I enjoyed pineapple for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I became inspired to create a refreshing dessert. I accented the pineapple with a favorite spice of mine, grilled it and served it with sherbet. The recipe is lots of fun for summer entertaining.
Prep time: 15 minutes
One whole, fresh pineapple
Brown sugar, for sprinkling
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
1½ pints sherbet (various flavors)
1. Working on a cutting board, cut off and discard pineapple stem with leaves as well as the bottom tip.
2. Holding the pineapple vertically, cut it into fourths.
3. Slice off and discard the ½-inch thick inner core from each fourth.
4. Insert a sharp, pointed knife between the pineapple skin and flesh.
5. Cut away the flesh from the skin in one piece (for all fourths).
6. Refrigerate two of the fourths in a covered bowl for future use (the extra pineapple can be eaten as a snack).
7. Working with two of the fourths (half of the pineapple), cut each fourth, crosswise, into 8 slices (a total of 16 slices). Set the slices on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.
8. Sprinkle the pineapple slices lightly with brown sugar and cinnamon.
9. Place the sheet with the pineapple on an oven rack set six inches away from oven’s overhead broiler grill.
10. Broil/grill the pineapple for 5 minutes or until brown sugar begins to bubble.
11. Cool completely (this step can be prepared early in the day).
To serve, place two scoops sherbet onto four individual dessert plates. Decorate the sides of each plate of sherbet with four slices of pineapple.
Text & Photographs ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real