Saturday, June 28, 2014

Royal Pineapple ~ Fit for a king!

This fantastic baked pineapple dessert is fit for a king; as in King Kamehameha the Great of Hawaii.  And it's easy to make in advance of your summer dinner party.  It will certainly add a flare to the evening's meal because the presentation in the pineapple shell is very impressive and the tastes are all island, including pineapple, macadamia nuts and coconut.

Julian's Royal Pineapple
This recipe originally came from a fellow food blogger that calls her site Wives with Knives. I've modified the recipe slightly and given you some options not included with the original.  In any case, you're guests will love it.  I've served it up multiple times with nothing but rave reviews.

Click to Enlarge
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons dark rum
1 large pineapple, leaves intact, halved lengthwise

Substitution Notes:  You can use gingersnaps as noted, or really any other crunchy cookie you prefer.  I've used almond cookies with good success.  If macadamia nuts are not to your taste or available, I've substituted thickly sliced pecans.  The real purpose of the nut is to provide some texture, so other nuts would do if you can't get the preferred macadamia.  You can leave out the rum if you have folks not tolerant of alcohol in their food, but I do think it adds a nice flavor.  The cooking time is really not long or high enough to 'cook off' the alcohol to any degree, so consider this when deciding to use it or not.  Finding the right sized pineapple is also key.  You are looking for a relatively small pineapple as you want to serve one half to each person.  Many of the pineapples in the store these days are quite large, so search out the smallest available as the ingredients are rich.  Even a smaller sized Royal Pineapple dessert will top out at over 700 calories, so do you best to find the smaller size.

Ready for Baking
Stir together coconut, gingersnap cookies and macadamia nuts. Set aside.

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and dark rum. Set aside.

With a sharp knife slice the pineapple in half with leaves intact. Cut the core from each pineapple half and discard. With a small sharp knife carefully cut the remaining pineapple out of the shell. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Arrange pineapple halves open sides up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Fill with pineapple cubes. Drizzle with half of the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Sprinkle heavily with coconut mixture. Drizzle with the remaining milk mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  Loosely cover with foil the last 10-15 minutes if the coconut starts to get too brown.   Serve warm.

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