My wife S and I used to entertain a lot. In the old days, before we had our first child, we had no problem dedicating several days (or nights) preparing to wow our friends with an amazing multi-course feast. But these days, time is scarce. We need recipes that can either be thrown together pretty quickly the evening of, or whose components can be prepped way in advance, ready to be combined à la minute. Recently, I’ve come across a really delicious, quick and easy dessert that I simply adore. A little artful plating and this dish of honey-roasted pineapple with pistachios and yogurt looks like something you’d get in a fancy restaurant. Which is perfect for capping off an evening of entertaining.
I found this great Bon Appetit recipe a few weeks ago while searching for roasted pineapple recipes. I had just returned from a week-long business trip to Hong Kong. While there, on two separate occasions, I enjoyed really tremendous roasted pineapple desserts prepared by two extraordinary chefs. At a third restaurant, pineapple was a dessert option, but on that occasion, I chose something else. Nonetheless, when I came home, I got to thinking about creating my own pineapple dessert to serve at home.
Strangely enough, while we can get great pineapple all year round here in Singapore, it’s something I had never really cooked with. We do buy pineapples frequently, but more for juicing (I love pineapple, carrot and orange juice). It’s just not an ingredient I had ever really thought about building dessert around until that last trip to Hong Kong.
A quick Google search pointed me to a number of different ideas. Some sounded great, some not so great. Some more complex and some relatively idiot-proof. But it was only when I found Rozanne Gold‘s recipe for Roasted Pineapple with Honey and Pistachios that I knew I’d found the perfect dish (for me at least).
We always have some pistachios in the house — it’s one of my favourite nuts and an ingredient I like to get S to add to our homemade granola. We also have plenty of really good quality and yummy yogurt thanks to S’s latest obsession with making her own. And we grow our own supply of mint on our terrace. Which meant that we pretty much had — and would always have — the ingredients to make this dish.
I have tweaked Ms Gold’s recipe a bit. I’ve re-run the original recipe below but I’ll list out my own little preferences.
Firstly, I add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the honey-orange juice-sugar mix.
Secondly, I cut my pineapple into 12 wedges and then cut each wedge in half, on the diagonal. This gives me greater ability for creative plating and means I can also get a lot more portions out of this than Ms Gold calls for; I’ve fed 8 people with this recipe with no problem.
Thirdly, I mix the ¼ cup of yogurt with 40ml of a high quality dark rum. I think this gives the dish a slightly more grown-up taste.
Fourth, I serve this with a scoop of either vanilla ice cream or a plain frozen yogurt (which I have also convinced S to make for me).
Finally, I sprinkle a touch of sea salt over the pineapple right before serving.
Roasted Pineapple with Pistachios and Yogurt (which I think is a more accurate description than Honey and Pistachios)
Originally published in Bon Appetit
½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
¼ cup yogurt
⅓ cup natural unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 230°C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add pineapple; toss to coat. Let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Place pineapple, one flat side down, on prepared sheet; reserve marinade.
Roast pineapple for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized, 10–15 minutes. Drizzle remaining marinade over; let cool slightly.
Divide pineapple among plates. Spoon yogurt alongside. Garnish with nuts and mint.