There is little that is more satisfying than having a project come out right. And it’s even more satisfying when you can eat the results!
I was having some friends over for dinner and I decided I had to make coconut sorbet. I’d had some out and I’ve been wanted to use my ice cream maker; sorbet is easier to make than ice cream (no custard) so it seemed like a good opportunity. It was, and the coconut sorbet was amazing! Although I had a little issue with the coconut fat solidifying too early in the ice cream maker. It clumped up so the texture of the sorbet was still perfect, but I don’t think that should have happened. (I used organic canned coconut milk–perhaps non-organic has emulsifier in it…)
But just coconut sorbet was boring. So what should I make with it. I was thinking a chocolate wafer of some nature, but that didn’t seem particularly summer-y. Plus I’d gotten mini coupe glasses at West Elm about a month ago with the intention of using them for a plated dessert and it didn’t seem like they would work for just ice cream and a cookie.
So I thought, what else could go with coconut? Well obviously piña colada flavors.
Pineapple was easy. I could make a compote with fresh pineapple and rum. And I thought for some zing, lime granita. For crunch, a plated dessert needs something crunchy, I settled on pineapple chips (it was that or tuilles and tuilles are a pain.)
The pineapple compote was simple enough. Diced pineapple, the juice from the pineapple, brown sugar, about a quarter of a vanilla bean, and white rum. Cooked it in a saute pan for a few minutes, then flambeed it with more rum (partially because it’s fun, partially because I did want to burn off the alcohol), then kept it on the heat until the pineapple was lightened in color and soft but not mush. Simple. FYI: when you flambee something, never pour the alcohol directly from the bottle. There is a risk that the flames could carry up the stream of the liquid and explode the bottle (that is full of highly flammable alcohol) in your hand. Just measure out the liquid into a small bowl or measuring cup first before pouring it into the pan.
I digress. The compote was delicious and the pineapple chips were a perfect complement and tied in the flavors nicely. Pineapple chips are, by the way, literally chips made from pineapple. Basically, slice a pineapple into very thin rounds (if you have a mandoline, that’s ideal) and bake them in the oven at a low heat (between 200-225, depending on whether you have a convection or conventional oven) until they are dry and crisp. Warning: that can take AGES. But it’s totally worth it! They are as delicious as they are pretty.
I’ve never made granita before, not even in culinary school. I’m not sure mine came out exactly right. I think there was too much sugar, because it stayed a bit sticky instead of crystalizing properly. Still, it tasted good and it added a depth and a zing to the dessert that was really needed.
All together the dessert was amazing and, surprisingly, vegan and gluten-free. So that makes it healthy, right?!