28 September 2010

The Pineapple Express - Summer Delights

As I am sure is the way in most school yards – even now – your popularity is often determined by the quality of your lunchbox.

Still to this day I remember one little boy from Primary School whose Mum used to make the most delicious Egg and Lettuce Sandwiches. Fresh bread, lots of butter and creamy mayonnaise – all wrapped up in a tight parcel of alfoil – it was like an everyday present.

I rarely had a lunch worth trading. My parents ran their own business, and this, coupled with working 7 days week often meant that our lunches lacked creativity. A popular option was vegemite sandwiches with a frozen poppa (juice). And I know my Mum meant well – a nice frosty cold drink on a hot summer’s day – but the way it usually worked out, was that my poppa would melt. And my sandwiches would go soggy. So I had very little value on the lunch black market, me and my soggy vegemite sandwiches.

But every now and then, this little boy would take pity on me and share his lunch with me. And even now, I still have soft spot for a nice egg and lettuce sandwich.

The funny thing is that not much changes when you become an adult.

For example – this week a carton of pineapples were delivered to my office from King of Fruit , in Yepoon.

Fragrant, sweet and smelling like summer – it took mere minutes for their scent to fill the office. And then – one by one – little heads began appearing over my cubicle. Like little Meerkats in the modern day Savannah, my fellow office workers popped up ready to trade wares or beg for leftovers. Not that different to the schoolyard really. *grin*

So why was I sent a carton of pineapples? To see what yummy things I could make with them!

It’s an interesting concept because for me, I have always loved Pineapple on it own, in big juicy chunky – or as a star in the fruit salad. I only realized when I got this challenge – that I had never really used pineapple as an ingredient. But after raiding my cookbook and magazine collection – these were the recipes I loved most.

Coconut Pannacotta with Pineapple Salsa

400ml can coconut milk
300ml light cream
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon gelatine

1/2 pineapple
3 sprigs mints
Zest of 1 lime

Place coconut milk, cream and 3/4 cup of sugar into a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Make gelatine according to instructions on pack. Add gelatine to coconut milk mixture. Whisk well to combine.

Strain the mixture from the saucepan into a jug to remove any strands of gelatine. Pour mixture into dariole moulds, cute teacups – or a small pickling jar. Refrigerate overnight.

Peel, core and slice the pineapple and then finely dice. Shred the mint and stir into the pineapple, add the lime zest, and add a squeeze of lime to stop pineapple discoloring and refrigerate.

To serve: Top pannacotta with the pineapple salsa.

 Pineapple 3 ways – Granita, Ice Cream and Salsa

1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and juiced.

Freeze the juice in a shallow baking dish and freeze. When completely frozen, use a fork to scrape the surface raise the crystals.

Ice Cream:

1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and juiced.
Cream to taste.
¼ bunch mint

Puree all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Pour into a shallow baking dish, cover with cling film and freeze.


½ pineapple
3 sprigs mint
Zest of 1 lime

Peel, core and slice the pineapple and then finely dice. Shred the mint and stir into the pineapple, add the lime zest, and add a squeeze of lime to stop pineapple discoloring and refrigerate.

To serve: In large frosted glasses, add a spoon of granita. Top with a scoop of ice cream and then add a spoon of salsa. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and serve immediately!

The beauty of Pineapple is that it is an amazing summer fruit. And in the spirit of summer, entertaining and not being chained to your kitchen. These are all dishes that can be made well in advance and prettied up at the last minute.

If all else fails, thick wedges of pineapple grilled on the BBQ until it caramelizes and served with a good quality vanilla bean ice cream – delicious!


  1. Pineapple express - summer delight, perfect for this summer. Thanks for the recipe, I really love pineapples. If I have a free time gonna try your recipe. Nice JOB!

  2. Oh lots of fiber and lots of vitamin C... good for the health and for those who are in a diet. Yummy.

  3. Slightly late commenting on this, but I've just fond your blog.. and I can't wait for summer to hit to try these out!