Grilling the fruit caramelizes its natural sugars, brings forth its juices and gives it attractive grill marks. A sprinkling of ground allspice adds another dimension with its warm, aromatic Caribbean flair.
Remember to brush the grates with oil.
Once the pineapple comes off the grill, it’s topped off with another layer of tropical flavor in the form of coconut whipped cream, which is healthier than coconut milk but not necessarily better for you than regular whipped cream.
To make it, you refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk for several hours - long enough for the fat to separate and rise to the top of the liquid. Then you scrape off the solid fat and whip it as you would cream, with a touch of sugar. It is so rich and decadent that you need just a little for this recipe. But the rest keeps well in the refrigerator, so you can have it on hand to dollop on those berries, too, when they arrive at last.
The can of coconut milk needs to be refrigerated for at least 5 hours and up to 1 day in advance. You’ll have whipped coconut cream left over; it can be refrigerated for at least 1 month.
Grilled pineapple with coconut whipped cream
One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 fresh whole pineapple
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Canola oil, for the grill pan
2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves (whole or chopped), for garnish
Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours and up to 1 day.
Remove it from the refrigerator without shaking it or moving it too much. Transfer what has congealed at the top to a mixer bowl, being careful not to include any of the liquid. The yield should be about 3/4 cup of solid coconut cream.
Add the sugar to the bowl; whip with chilled beaters (optional; see headnote) on medium-high speed (stand mixer or handheld electric mixer) until the coconut cream is glossy and firm enough for a spatula to leave tracks that remain. The yield is about 1 cup.
Cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Cut away and discard the skin and any brown spots on the fruit. Cut the pineapple flesh crosswise into eight equal slices (about 1/2 inch thick). Use a spoon or apple corer to carve out the center core of each slice to create rings. Sprinkle the allspice evenly over each pineapple ring (on one side only).
Brush a large grill pan lightly with the oil and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches and adjusting the heat as needed, cook the pineapple rings for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until they are nicely browned and grill marks have appeared.
To serve, place 2 pineapple rings on each serving dish. Top each with a small dollop (2 teaspoons) of the coconut whipped cream, and garnish with mint.
Nutrition per serving: 90 calories, 0 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugar
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.