15 January 2009
Healthy Dessert Week: Grilled Pineapple and Ice Cream
Second in the series of posts about healthier desserts.
I've seen TV chefs grill fruit on and off for the past couple of years and always thought it looked interested but never really thought to give it a try myself. Now that I'm looking for fruit based desserts, however, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. For my first attempt, I decided on pineapple since Zach and I have eaten enough pears and apples to come out of our ears at this point in the winter. Thinking of cost, and also the amount of time and mess it takes to break down a fresh pineapple, I picked up a can of rings at the grocery store.
Actual grilling wasn't quite an option since 1) it's the middle of winter and 2) we don't own a grill. I thought about using the grill pan, but it's sort of annoying to clean so I turned to the broiler. I fished some rings out of the can, patted them dry with paper towels and placed them in a row on the broiler pan. Then I popped them in the oven and broiled till the top side turned golden (well in some cases rather more black than golden- I got a little distracted) and flipped them over to cook the other side.
Arranged on a plate with vanilla ice cream,* the rings made a rather Olympic presentation. It looked rather pretty and would have been even better if I had a tiny ice cream scoop or melon baller and could have made little scoops of ice cream to put in each ring. On the first taste, I was surprised at how much sweeter broiling made the pineapple. The sugars really concentrated and caramelized with the broiling and I have to admit, became a bit too sweet for me. The hot pineapple did go well with the cold ice cream though, and I think that a lot of people (I'm thinking of a few friends in particular) who have more of a sweet tooth than me, would really like this.
* Ice cream? During healthy desserts week? How is this possible you ask? Well, non-premium ice-cream (at least the store brand I buy) has about 120 calories and 5 grams of fat per half cup serving which is really not much at all. Combined with the pineapple rings, the total calorie count for the dessert is under 200 and it has some calcium, lots of vitamin C and a bit of fiber as well, which makes it count as a healthy dessert in my book.