Introduction: Baja Pineapple Boat
Finalist in the
Le Creuset Brunch Challenge
Make any Brunch more memorable and delicious with a Baked Pineapple Boat- Baja Style.
Fresh, warm Pineapple, drizzled with butter and a touch of Rum... laced with a light, cool Banana Cream Sauce.
This dish both smells and tastes wonderful!
Step 1: Ingredients You'll Need:
1 Whole, fresh, fairly-ripe Pineapple
1 small can pineapple chunks. (you might need it)
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar
3 Tablespoons Rum (Optional)
1 Ripe Banana
2 Cups Half & Half
1 whole Egg
2 Egg yolks only- save whites for another recipe.
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Salt
Garnish: I used toasted Coconut, Strawberries, Mandarin Oranges and a pinch of cinnamon. Use your imagination and have fun garnishing it any way you'd like! ;-D
First Step: Start and finish the Cream sauce.
Set your banana off to the side. You won't add the banana to the sauce until later.
Combine all of the other sauce ingredients into your Blender and whip on Med. speed for a couple of minutes. Pour this mixture into a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until the sauce reaches a very gentle simmer and thickens. It's critical that you stir through this process so the sauce doesn't boil, curdling the eggs.
This'll take about 15 minutes of your time. It's time well spent. When you have a smooth, creamy texture, remove from heat and let the sauce cool down to room temperature.
Once cool, put the sauce back into the blender and add the peeled banana. Blend until smooth and refrigerate.
Step 2: Prep the Pineapple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the pineapple on it's side. Use a long, thin-bladed knife to take a fairly thick slice from one side. Don't include the green top. Set this slice aside.
Use the same knife to cut around inside the skin/shell of the pineapple. Cut a 1" checkerboard pattern into the fruit, being VERY CAREFUL not to cut all the way through, or cut yourself. the inner core is very tough. Don't try to cut through that part. Just work the knife around it as best you can for now.
Using a Grapefruit-type spoon with a serrated edge, start scooping out the chunks of pineapple and place in a clean bowl. As you work through the tough core, set those pieces aside, or throw them away. Just a suggestion: Your garbage disposal will not like them either. You'd hate me if I didn't warn you.
Be sure to scrape out the inside of the first slice you cut. Save that slice. (Still ;-)
When the Pineapple skin/shell looks well-cleaned out, turn it cut side down on a plate to help drain any extra juice. Drain the Pineapple chunks and bits, saving the juice for... smoothies!!!! ;-D All you want is the pineapple.
You'll notice that your Pineapple Boat isn't quite full. Some recipes add bread cubes and such.
We're just going to add extra pineapple chunks from that can you (are supposed? ;-) to have handy.
Drain the can (Saving the juice) and add the chunks to your fresh pineapple.
Sprinkle on a few Tablespoons of cinnamon sugar on top. If you are adding Rum, this is the time to sprinkle that on, too. Then toss the pineapple together and return it to the empty skin/shell.
Cover the green top loosely with foil, shiney side out to deflect heat.
Place your Pineapple Boat in a rectangular cake/casserole pan. The size you'll need will depend on the size of the pineapple.
Put the Pineapple Boat in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Check at 20 minutes to make sure it's not getting too toasty.
Step 3: Almost Finished!
When it's lightly browned and bubbly, remove the pineapple boat from the oven.
Cover it with the reserved top slice and carefully transfer it to a Serving platter. It will stay hot for quite a while, so you'll have your hands free for other things.
Once the pineapple has cooled down (about 20 minutes).... the Garnish FUN begins!!!
I used what I had in my pantry, beginning with toasted coconut... but now I'm thinking Maraschino Cherries would've looked gorgeous!
Serve the warm Pineapple Boat with the chilled Banana Cream sauce on the side, allowing your guests to indulge themselves as desired.
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy...
See how easy that was!?!
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