Sunday, July 12, 2009

Foodie Fights Competition: Pineapple Basil Sorbet on Flambed Rum Pineapples (with toasted crepes and Orange Caramel Sauce)


To begin, I'd like to give out a hearty thanks to the kind fellows at for including me as one of the competitors this week.
It was loads of fun and I was terrifically challenged--and ILEARNED THINGS! What an adventure it's been!

Alright so.
The big reveal:

I chose, for the Pineapple/Basil Foodie Fight, to bring to the arena
Pineapple Basil Sorbet on Flambed Rum Pineapple (with toasted crepes and Orange Caramel Sauce)

(A simple, light, delicious and crazily awesome dessert. Involving basil).

Here we go.
First off, I HATE pineapple. Of all the beautiful amazing adventurous ingredients chosen for this week, I get pineapple.
Seriously? Seriously.

I debated a lot. Dessert or Dinner? I went through SEVERAL recipes, including pineapple chicken and fritters and a whole bunch of other pineapple-y stuff.
You can find all of those recipes (here).
Then I realized that I was going to (gulp) have to EAT this. So I went with dessert. Live for adventure, right? Special heartfelt thanks to Mom, Mike and Brendan for being the taste testers.

Shut up and tell me how to make this!

Pineapple/Basil Sorbet:
Anyway, so I thought...pineapple. Light, fresh, fruity, "delicious"...basil. pizza, pasta, goes well with onions. obviously my next thought was "ice cream".
But seriously---this is delicious. I don't even like pineapple and this is ah-mazing. Trust me on this one. Just give it a try.
Life is an adventure, right? Bonus round: this entire dessert took me less than 3 hours. That's better than a cheesecake and ...4.5 times as healthy. (That's a lie).

I do not own an icecream maker nor have I ever made sorbet. It worked out wonderfully, thanks to some research and a lot of blatant making it up as I went.

You will need:
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar

2 apples (I used tart Braeborns and was quite pleased) chopped
2/3 cup pineapple, chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup basil leaves, finely chopped. (Trust me on this. Just KEEP chopping). I used about 2/3 of a cup and was pleased.

1/2 cup pineapple juice (fresh is best)
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp Orange Extract (if you feel like it. i did.)
*note: I tasted this before I added it, and since my pineapples were a little on the tart side (yes, I ate the pineapple), I reduced to 1/2 a cup. Just use your personal preference.

Okay. So.
This is actually not as difficult as it would seem. Sorbet is your friend!

1. Boil the sugar and water IN A POT BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD YOUR FRUIT! (oopies).
2. When the water boils, throw in your apples and your pineapple and simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and place HALF of your basil in the pot. Set aside for 15 minutes to let flavors infuse. (Don't you love that word?)

4. Once 15 minutes has elapsed, place the mix into your blender (please note that 1976 called and they want me to give my blender back) and puree until smooth. Hold onto the lid (oopies).

5. Prepare 2 bowls (one must be smaller than the other and fill one large with ice and water (thusly creating "ice water...see how that works?) and place the smaller of the two in the ice bath.)Observe this incredibly well-made chart.

Pour the mix through a sieve into the SMALLER bowl (oopies) and let cool. It will be a beautiful light green. That is impossible to make attractive in my light deprived kitchen.

6. Once cooled, mix your juice concoction into the sorbet mix and do one of two things.

A: place in your ice cream maker and do whatever it is the instructions bode you like the soulless direction following zombie you are. (Just kidding, I think you're cool with all your little kitchen gadgets).
B: make like a pioneer and do it old school and make it up as you go because you realize you don't have an ice cream but believe that cooking should be an awesome inspiring adventure.. (like me).

HOW TO MAKE YOUR SORBET WITHOUT AN ICE CREAM MAKER (Dedicated to poor college students everywhere.)
1. Place sorbet mixture into freezer in a bowl big enough to mix things around in.
2. Set timer for 30 minutes.
3. Walk away. (no, really). I made chocolate chip cookies in the mean time.
4. When 30 minutes has elapsed, whisk mixture briefly to break up any large chunks.

5. Rinse and repeat until frozen. My super-mega freezer froze the sucker in about 3 hours (ish). I whisked for about 3 minutes after each round and on the last round switched to a hand held stick mixer.
6. Store until needed.

Voila! You just made sorbet! Imagine the possibilities of making this with like, strawberries and raspberries and mango and.....not pineapple.

So you've got your delish sorbet (seriously! I swear!) and now what?


A Safety note:
The last time I flambed something I set the drapes on fire. Do not set the drapes on fire. Flambe away from all window dressings. And hair. And aprons. And little brothers.

For your
Pineapple Flambéed in Spiced Rum and Orange Caramel

you will need:

One pineapple cut into 6-8 rings (or strips depending on your preference. I like rings).
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rum (warmed in microwave for 20 seconds.
Bravery and a friend with a camera to catch you with a flaming sauce pan in your hand. Or to put you out. You know. Whatever.

How to make!
1. Sprinkle brown sugar onto a plate and press your pineapple rings into the brown sugar, coating on both sides. Like so:

2. Melt butter in sauce pan on medium heat. Once heated, CAREFULLY place your pineapple rings in the butter and brown on both sides (2-3 minutes per worked for me). Your kitchen is going to smell like a caramel factory.

3. Get ready to flambé!

Okay. So. Flambéing (flambéing? flambeberating? I don't know, I'm a theatre major) is actually really easy. Just be careful. A tip: take your pan AWAY FROM THE STOVE! Or you might lose a curtain.

To flambé, simply remove your pan from the heat (far, far away) and carefully pour in the warmed rum. Using a LONG match or barbecue lighter, ignite the rum and put back on the heat, allowing the alcohol to burn off. The pineapple is going to come out beautifully caramelized with this amazing deep flavor. It's super awesome. Plus there's fire. And now a Flambe Montage.
Thank you.
5. After you’ve finished your pineapples (I did mine in 2 batches) take out the pineapples and let rest in a shallow pan for about 5 minutes.
6. Keep boiling the sauce for another 3-4 minutes and pour out half of it onto your cooked pineapples.

Add a ¼ tsp of orange extract and boil the other half for another 3-4 minutes until super frothy. This will make a super thick rich caramel orange sauce. Just keep cooking it. If you do it right when it cools, you’ll have to chisel it out of the pan. So delicious. So, so orangey and rummy and pineappley and delicious (and I don’t even like pineapple). Look at that. It's just sexy.

Dump it all onto your pineapples and let marinate whilst you make the last component….

Pineapple Crepes!

You will need:

2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 stick of butter (unsalted or omit salt)
1 tsp pineapple juice and 1 TBSP shredded pineapple.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To assemble:
A note: To make the Perfect Crepe you gotta make sure that there are no lumps in the batter. I like to mix my batter in the blender for obnoxiously long periods of time at early hours of the morning to ensure a good consistency. So. I’m trying to get a Danny Kaye joke in here somewhere. It’s not going to work. Anyway.

1. Mix milk and eggs in the blender (you don't have to beat them first...bonus!)
2. Melt butter in small glass/microwave safe bowl.
3. GRADUALLY add flour (like 1/2 a cup at a time) and keep blending. Remember to slow and/or stop blender or flour will poof everywhere (oopies).

4. Add in melted butter and salt. Blend one more time for good measure.
5. Let batter rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to set. (If you’re in a rush you don’t have to, but I’ve had better results with a rested batter) Once rested, blend in pineapple juice and shredded pineapple and prep for cooking.

To Cook:
1. Butter a small frying pan and ladle a medium spoonful of batter into pan. Quickly swivel the pan to get a nice thin coating over the entire bottom of the pan. The trick is to get it as thin as possible without leaving any holes. See? Isn't it cute? It's just hanging out doing it's crepe thing.

It's just hanging out doing it's crepe thing.
2. Cook on medium high heat until the edges begin to brown. When this happens, you must make a choice. Choose wisely.
A: You can either fold your crepe and press into a cupcake pan to make little crepe-y wrap things like I did to hold the sorbet (tip--pour a little bit of the crepe batter into the bottom of the greased pan to make a full bowl!) or....

B: Cook flat for another 30 seconds or so until second side is juuuust cooked. Once cooked, place on a cookie sheet.
C: Make a swan. (just kidding but that would be AWESOME).

3. Once you've made your choice, place cupcake pan and/or cookie sheet into your preheated oven for 10 minutes to crisp them up really well around the edges (if centers start getting too brown, remove from heat).

To complete the dessert:
Top your flambéd pineapple with the sorbet and wrap the crepe around the whole nonsense. Garnish with a little fresh basil and frozen banana. Drizzle your orange caramel over …well, whatever you want caramel-y.

Enjoy and (cough) vote for me (cough). Please be sure to check out my awesome competition before voting. If you want to.

PS: Chocolate sauce + left over crepes==

1 comment:

  1. Yay for the frozen dessert entries in Foodie Fights!!!