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.

7 comments:

kat said...

We just had grilled pineapple in a taco & Matt was saying he really wanted it with ice cream

Audax Artifex said...

In Sydney Australia we have grilled (broiled) pineapple all the time. Have you never tried grilled cos lettuce or redicco lettuce (the slightly bitter red lettuce) they are wonderful also - everybody comments that grilled lettuce would be foul but they are always surprised how good it is! Yes grilling really concentrates the sugar I usually dust lightly with dark brown sugar to help the caramelisation. Photo looks fab

Apples and Butter said...

I have yet to grill pineapple at home. Looks delicious!

Cynthia said...

Hey, how are you doing?

glamah16 said...

Broiled , grilled, its a favorite of mine. The flavor just bursts.

Stace said...

Tried this last night as a quick dessert to follow my friend's delicious Garlic Pesto Bowties. The broiled pineapples had to be watched, I'm glad you warn of that.

I kept the pineapple juice and simmered it in a saucepan with a splash of spiced rum and some nutmeg and cinnamon, and added a little cornstarch at the end to thicken. The sauce went over mini angel food cakes to make the dessert more substantial for the one guest who didn't like pineapple. It was fantastic! Thanks for the great starter idea! I think I'll make those poached pears next...

Jen said...

Stace- that spiced pineapple rum sauce sounds delicious. I will have to try it out next time.