My word was this delicious! No points for originality… but the perfect exotic summer treat. As ever, no refined sugar, and given the natural sweetness of the pineapple there’s very minimal sweetener in the sorbet. Vanilla bean paste perfumes the sorbet; its aroma helps to naturally sweeten things, or helps to create an impression of sweetness, again meaning there’s less need for lots of maple syrup or agave.
I made this in an ice cream machine and it was perfect. Sadly I cannot vouch for the recipe’s success if made without. If you give it a go let me know! When making by hand, freeze the mixture in a Tupperware, and give a really good mix every hour or two until it’s frozen; this helps to break up the ice crystals as it freezes, giving you a smoother ice cream, rather than one that's full of icy shards.
This recipe makes a delicate serving for 3 people, or an indulgent one for 2!
1 tin organic coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla pod, or ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons agave (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon of xanthum gum
½ small pineapple
Quite simply blend all the sorbet ingredients (that’s everything bar the pineapple) in a jug blender, or very well with a stick blender. Thanks to the xanthum gum it will froth and thicken, growing in volume slightly.
Simple transfer this to your ice cream machine and churn until frozen; hold in the freezer until needed.
If you’re making this well in advance, be sure to take the ice cream out of the freezer 15 minutes before you would like to serve it, as it will need time to thaw.
Simply chop the pineapple and cut away the skin.
Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat. Once it’s hot, add the pineapple chunks. They should sizzle and smoke immediately. Give them a minute or so on each side, just enough to take on some colour, but not enough time to ‘cook’; they’re best still essentially raw, yet with a lovely caramelized exterior. If you have a super sweet tooth, add just a teaspoon of agave to the pineapple half way through cooking, this will make them sweeter and juicier… I must confess to doing this and it was heavenly!
Allow the pineapple to cool slightly before serving with the ice-cream.