There is nothing more fragrant and sensuous than roasted pineapple. I am sort of iffy about pineapple when sliced in a fruit salad, but when pineapple is bathed and basted in dark rum and vanilla, it becomes a sweet and exotic treat. Roasted pineapple gives off its juices which are thick and perfumed with pineapple essence and a pureed banana. For all the non-bakers out there, this dessert is for you. Simple and requiring minimal kitchen skills, roasted pineapple will make you look like a dessert genius. Save the juices and drizzle on ice cream or pound cake.

Serves 6

1 ripe* pineapple

1 vanilla bean, scraped, reserve seeds and bean

6 ¼-inch thick slices of peeled ginger

1 ripe banana, peeled and pureed

¼ cup dark rum

1 ½ cups pineapple juice

¼ cup water

Pinch of chili flakes (optional)

  1. Cut off the ends of the pineapple and peel down the skin with a sharp knife. Cut out as many “eyes” (indentations) as necessary.
  2. Core the pineapple with a sharp knife or apple corer. Poke several holes in the pineapple and push cut segments of the vanilla bean into the holes.
  3. Place the pineapple in a shallow casserole pan. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and baste the pineapple. Bake the pineapple, covered with foil, and baste every 15 minutes for 1 hour.
  4. Slice and serve with pan juices and vanilla ice cream or sorbet.

*A ripe pineapple will smell sweet and perfumed. A pineapple that is under ripe will have no fragrance at all. A ripe pineapple will be slightly yielding when gently pressed. To ripen a pineapple, leave at room temperature for a few days. Pulling a leaf out of a pineapple and testing the ease at which the leaf comes out as a sign of ripeness is a myth.

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.

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