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Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream

By colm
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Warm juicy pineapple, spiced with chillies and vanilla then caramelized till golden.

Caramelized Spiced Pineapple

Why is it the older I get the sweeter my sweet tooth seems to become? I’m at the stage now where dessert is often the part of a meal I look forward to the most. I love to bake but unless I’ve a day off then I just don’t have the time.

Cooking up sweet treats takes time and if you’re anything like me you keep a lookout for dessert recipes and sweet things you can whizz up in a hurry. One of my favourite thing to do for a quick sugar hit is to caramelise some seasonal fruits in a hot pan with a little sugar.

Ripe mangos, bananas, strawberries ( so plentiful at the moment), and of course pineapple all caramelize nicely. Then you can just deglaze the sticky fruit with whatever liquor you’ve got in your cabinet. Rum, Cointreau, sambuca, even whiskey, or a good dessert wine all work well.

With this super easy recipe, I’ve taken things a little further by coating my pineapple in a spicy sugar mixture infused with vanilla, cardamom, and dried chillies before it hits the pan.

Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream

The only real work in this recipe is removing the black seeds from the inside of the green cardamom pods. It’s worth the effort though. Crushing up the fragrant black seeds in a mortar and pestle releases a beautiful floral scent into the air and infuses the pineapple with its unique flavour.

You don’t see many dessert recipes with chillies and if you go ahead and cook this, make sure to serve it with something cold. I went with a smooth, creamy vanilla ice cream..it creates the strangest sensation in your mouth. Hot from the chillies and cold from frozen ice cream all at the same time. It’s a fun way to finish a meal and the look of surprise on your guests faces as they savour the first bite is priceless. Kids especially seem to enjoy it.

Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream

How spicy you want to make this is up to you. I used about a half teaspoon of chillies to coat my four pineapple slices and this was more than enough to make it quite fiery. I can handle a little chilli but if you don’t like hot things just tone it down a bit with a little less.

Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream-7

One last thing, make sure you get a nice ripe juicy pineapple for this. Check for ripeness by giving a gentle press at the base of the pineapple (there should be a little give) or by pulling at one of the spiky bits at the top which should come out easily. The last thing you want is a hard dry pineapple that will need about a week to ripen.

What’s your favourite quick-cook dessert recipe?

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Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons Castor sugar
  • 1 Vanilla pod (split in half with the seed removed)
  • 12 Cardamon pods
  • half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
  • 1Pineapple
  • 240 ml / 1 cup Dark rum
  • 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream


  1. Crush the cardamom pods with the flat part of a chef’s knife and remove the black seeds from the outer green husks. Place the black seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind them into a fine powder.
  2. Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Mix the castor sugar, chilli flakes, ground up cardamon seeds, and vanilla seeds together. You’ll have to get in there with your fingers and rub the vanilla seeds through the sugar mixture as if you were making pastry to distribute them evenly through the mix.
  3. Peel your pineapple, cut it into four, and remove the hard bit in the center to leave you with 4 pineapple rings. Coat each pineapple ring generously with the spicy sugar mixture.
  4. Heat a pan large enough to hold your four pineapple rings over a high heat. You might want to turn your extractor fan up full at this point. There will be quite a bit of smoke when you cook the pineapple
  5. Add your pineapple to the pan and cook it in a high heat for about a minute till caramelised and golden. Flip it over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the rum (be careful when you do this the pan is extremely hot and will bubble violently) reduce down the rum till you have a nice syrupy sauce.
  7. To serve place the pineapple rings in the center of a bowl, pour over the rum sauce, and place a scoop of vanilla ice in the center of each pineapple.

5 thoughts on “Caramelized Spiced Pineapple With Vanilla Ice Cream”

  1. the farmer’s market is part of the exercise path my dog and i take each morning; today i saw some beautiful fresh pineapple. i grabbed. i cooked. i ate several pieces… for breakfast. this share easily competes with my previous favorite quick treat aka whatever is fresh and beautiful crumble or cobbler. you are rockstar. i just might have to buy another pineapple when i grab some mango tomorrow 🙂


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