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Charlie Palmer's Flame-Glazed Pineapple
Chef/Restaurateur Charlie Palmer, Aureole-New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

No kitchen pyrotechnics required! In this recipe, Chef Palmer marinates the pineapple and cooks it on the grill to develop its amazing flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups dark rum
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 1 large ripe pineapple, peeled and trimmed, eyes carefully removed
  • 4 slices lemon (or plain) pound cake
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When the simple syrup is cool, combine it with the rum, brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg to taste in a large, shallow baking dish, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the whole pineapple and turn to coat all sides with the rum mixture. Cover lightly with plastic film and marinate at room temperature for 12 hours (or refrigerated for up to 2 days), turning frequently so that all sides of the pineapple have absorbed some of the marinade. Remove the pineapple from the dish, separately reserving the marinade.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the pineapple on the preheated grill. Grill for about 20 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes, until all areas of the pineapple are beginning to glaze and the center has begun to cook slightly.

While the pineapple is grilling, transfer the marinade to a small non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until a thin syrup forms. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Remove the pineapple from the grill, and using a sharp knife, split the pineapple, lengthwise, into quarters. Carefully slice off any core that is still hard. Keeping each quarter intact, slice, on the bias, into ½-inch thick pieces.

Place a slice of pound cake in the center of each of four luncheon plates. Angle 3 to 4 slices of pineapple across the cake. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side and drizzle the warm rum syrup around the edge of the plate. Sprinkle toasted walnuts over the plate and serve.

Alternately, serve the pineapple slices in a shallow soup bowl, garnished with fresh berries. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or crème fraîche in the bowl and drizzle the warm rum syrup over the fruit. Sprinkle toasted slivered walnuts over the bowl and place a spring of fresh mint