Pineapple seems to be having a moment right now. In nearly every food publication I’ve seen this summer, someone is grilling it, smoking it, or roasting it to delicious new heights. I’ve been contemplating a few ways to caramelize the crap out of my favorite pizza topping, but Harvest and Honey’s #virtualfireandiceparty finally gave me some direction—Smoked Pineapple and Coconut Ice Cream. Smoking (or even grilling) the pineapple adds an unexpected, but not overwhelming, savory note to the ice cream. Not to mention that this treat is solely sweetened by fruit and honey. Which is good, because I dropped a big scoop of it into my smoothie this morning.
1 whole pineapple
1 tsp smoked salt, divided
1 can coconut cream
2 cans original coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
¼ c honey
Caramel sauce of your choice
Place your ice cream machine’s base in the freezer for at least 12 hours prior to making the ice cream.
Set up your smoker as you normally would, or use a grill with coals or burners arranged for indirect heat. We have a pellet smoker which takes all the guesswork out, but for those of you using a gas or charcoal grill, essentially move all of your heat source to one side of the grill and cook the pineapple (plus whatever else you want to grill—might as well, right?) on the side that does not have any coals or heat under it. Once you’ve placed your whole pineapple on the smoker or grill, leave it alone for 2-3 hours. A knife should slide right in without any resistance once it’s done.
Once your pineapple is cooled, twist off the top and cut off the top and the bottom of the pineapple so it can sit flat. With your knife, slice off the outside of the pineapple in long vertical strips, careful not to remove too much of the fruit. Once that’s finished, remove the fruit in 4 big chunks from the core and dice it small. Take a sheet pan, line it with paper towels, and place the diced pineapple on top. Use additional paper towels to press down and remove as much moisture as possible—water is the enemy of creamy ice cream! Reserve ½ c of the pineapple, and sprinkle the remaining with ½ tsp of smoked salt.
In a high speed blender, combine the coconut cream, the cream from the top of both coconut milk cans, and 1/4 cup of the remaining coconut water from one can into a high powered blender. Add in the reserved ½ cup of pineapple, ½ tsp of the smoked salt, the vanilla scraped from the pod, and the honey. Blend like you mean it until the contents are smooth.
Remove your ice cream machine base from the freezer and set it up on your counter. Pour in the entirety of the blender’s contents and mix for at least 30 minutes. Once your ice cream is the texture of soft serve, move it to the container you intend to freeze it in, and fold in the remaining salted pineapple.
Freeze for at least 5 hours before serving with caramel sauce and a pinch of salt on top.
Note: If you are someone that doesn’t have an ice cream machine, freeze the ice cream mixture into ice cube trays. Once set, you can blend them into soft serve with the help of a high speed blender, and fold in as much pineapple as you want afterwards.