Think Pina Colada….. Think tropical white sandy beaches, hot sun, cooling green coconut palms and sipping heady cocktails with the clear blue, warm ocean gently lapping at your feet.
Yeah….. I have a vivid and somewhat optimistic imagination, but at GFHQ, we have invented a fab, summer alternative to that favourite Caribbean tipple….. a Boozy Pina Colada Hot BBQ Pineapple dessert….. Thick slices of fresh cut pineapple and seasonal local cherries, marinated in a little coconut water and a large dousing of white rum……, roasted on a hot barbecue and then topped with an extra drizzle of the potent stuff alongside cold, whipped coconut cream and some dried coconut flakes.
The idea for this delectable dessert came to me in the midst of plotting some new recipes for the #FreeFromBBQ features being run throughout June by our gang of free from bloggers (check out the list in the last post if you are looking for summer barbecue inspiration to cover allergies and intolerances).
If you follow Gluten Free Alchemist, you will have seen my post on BBQ Swordfish with Lime, Pistachio and Coriander, which made a light, healthy and tasty change to the usual meat-fest of bangers and burgers. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional meat binge, but sometimes it’s good to broaden horizons and try something different.
Just as fish was a welcome change however, I decided we needed to also ditch the s’mores for something a little fresher. Okay….. I know this one is not obviously for the kids, but take out the rum and they can still enjoy all the tropical fun, without you being reported to Social Services!
I hadn’t originally planned to add cherries, but not long after the idea for this recipe hatched in a dark corner of my brain, our local Kent cherries started appearing for sale at roadsides and orchards and it seemed rather remiss not to throw a few in. Having tasted the result, they were a fantastic addition for both texture and flavour, but also for the blush in colour they added to the yellow pineapple.
It is when you dish this dessert up however, that the tropical magic truly comes together. Of course, the intensity of rum can be adjusted to taste by drizzling more or less over the plated fruit (my arm was given an invisible ‘nudge’ as I poured)…… but the coconut cream raises the dish to another level….. soft, creamy, rich and existing in perfect harmony against the pineapple and rum to recreate Pina Colada heaven. None of these elements compete for stardom…. they equally share the stage in an interconnected relationship with each other.
Although optional, the flakes of coconut add extra bite and contrast, so if you have some in the larder, be sure to sprinkle them on….
A little note about coconut cream….. If you want a good thick whip, make sure you source coconut milk which has a high concentration of coconut extract and no added guar gum. It’s amazing how much they vary….. anything from about 16% to 82%. The 82% can comes from Natco, but I also found a very convenient gem at Sainsbury (their own brand) which weighs in at a healthy 75% extract and produced the best coconut cream I have ever whisked.
The other essential to preparing your coconut cream, is to make sure you chill the can (upside-down) over-night or for a few hours without moving, to enable the cream to separate from the coconut liquid (the cream rises up). When you open the can (having flipped it back upright first), you can then easily pour off the liquid (which you save for the rum-coconut marinade) and extract the cream. Once whipped (with a little maple syrup and vanilla), pop it back in the fridge for a while to firm back up.
Although I admit there is a little more work to preparing this dish than roasting a marshmallow over hot coals and squelching between two (gluten free) chocolate biscuits, this Boozy Pina Colada Hot BBQ Pineapple is not difficult to pull off and I can honestly say it is probably the best barbecued dessert I have ever eaten……. Or maybe I am just easily pleased?!
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond
I am sharing this tropical bowlful of loveliness with :
Cook Blog Share – this week with Hijacked By Twins
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too
Meat Free Mondays with Tinned Tomatoes
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum
#G2BGF (Got To Be Gluten Free) – a New Linky over at Glutarama
Boozy Pina Colada Hot BBQ Pineapple
fresh cherries – de-stoned
- Whipped Coconut Cream : Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge upside-down over night or for several hours.
- Turn the can up the right way and then open and drain the watery liquid into a cup.
- Spoon out the thick coconut cream into a medium-large bowl and add the maple syrup and vanilla.
- Whisk the cream until thick and then place back in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Pineapple Base : Marinade the pineapple and cherries with a hefty glug of Bacardi and a little of the coconut water for a couple of hours.
- When ready to barbecue, drain the pineapple and cherries and place in a basket of foil with a few small holes pierced into the bottom. Save the rum-liquid and drink!
- Place on a hot barbecue for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, place the hot pineapple and cherries in a serving dish and add an extra drizzle of rum over the top.
- Serve with a large spoon of whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of coconut flakes.