I had a moment of panic this morning. I went to run some errands this morning but couldn’t find my car. Immediately three things came to mind. 1) I am officially old and can no longer remember such details like where I park my car (in my defense – I park on the street and the last time I drove my car was 8 days ago). 2) My car was stolen or 3) my car was towed. What’s a girl to do? I circled the block and the adjacent block and the other adjacent block approximately three times before heading back home and looking up to see if my car was being held hostage at the impound lot while calmly convincing myself that having my car towed would be much preferable to having it stolen. And impounded it was. I was the unlucky victim of street sweeping. I guess that’s what I get when I don’t park on my block and don’t drive often enough to see the street signs declaring temporary ‘No parking.’
At least it wasn’t stolen.
A quick phone call, a ride to the impound lot and $200 later, I was back in possession of my car. Whew. The whole thing took about two hours. A more stressed-out version of myself would have seriously freaked out over this turn of events. But not post-vacation me. A few weeks back I left town and spent a week with some lovely ladies in my family. Sunny skies, azure waters, drinks during the day … a fantastic escape from everyday realities like street sweeping and work.
In moments of dire reality, I try hard to remember the low-key, go-with-the-flow mentality of vacation. A tropical dessert doesn’t hurt either. I recently found myself with a pineapple and decided I wanted to bake with it. Sweet and spicy roasted pineapple galette with pina colada sherbet. Pineapple roasted with cayenne spiced caramel sauce, sliced and laid flat on a flaky sweet pie dough. It’s got kick for sure, but when paired with pina colada sherbet it just bursts with sweet pineapple-ness.
Pineapple, banana, ginger, coconut, rum … can you get any more tropical and sunny than that? A welcome escape for a Sunday afternoon following a hectic week at work. I have to be honest – making this particular dessert was rather involved. Making the caramel sauce, roasting the pineapple, rolling the dough, baking the galette, churning the ice cream – note that I said it was a welcome escape and not an instant escape from reality… but an escape nonetheless.
Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Galette
adapted from Bon Appetit
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pineapple
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup dark rum
1 large banana
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled, cored and halved
Sweet Tart Dough
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons cold water
For the roasted pineapple:
Mix sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat; boil until syrup is deep amber color, swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup water (Beware – the sugar will be on the edge of violent!), then rum. Stir over very low heat until caramel bits dissolve. Simmer 2 minutes. Cool syrup 15 minutes. Add banana, ginger, and cayenne pepper; puree with an immersion blender (or a stand alone blender) until sauce is smooth.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place pineapple halves in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour sauce over; turn pineapple to coat. Roast until tender, basting often with sauce (about every 15 minuets), about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove pineapple from sauce (but keep sauce for later), let cool completely and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
For sweet tart dough:
Combine flours, salt and sugar in a food processor. Blend until combined. Add butter and pulse until butter is processed into pea-sized bits. Add egg yolk and pulse until incorporated. Add water and process until dough begins to come together. Gather dough loosely, wrap in plastic and chill at least an hour. Once chilled, roll dough out to ~1/8 thickness in some semblance of a rectangle. This is the beauty of the galette – no precise measurements needed! Lay pineapple slices on top of dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Drizzle reserved caramel sauce over fruit (you will have plenty leftover for ice cream sundaes). Fold edge over and bake at 425º for 25 minutes.
Pina Colada Sherbet
from The Perfect Scoop, by David Leibovitz
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon lime juice
Puree pineapple in blender until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well incorporated. Chill thoroughly and freeze in your ice cream maker.