Grilled Pineapple with Chilli Syrup and Coconut Ice Cream

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The coconut ice cream is well worth it if you have an ice-cream machine. If not, buy in some vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 2 red chillies, tops removed, deseeded and cut into very thin rounds
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 50 g ( oz) golden caster sugar
  • 1 pineapple

For the Coconut Ice Cream

  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) whole milk
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) canned coconut milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 150 g ( oz) golden caster sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) (double) cream

Method

First make the ice cream. Combine the milk and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl, then pour the (almost) boiling milk in a thin stream into this mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and return to a gentle heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula until the custard starts to thicken very slightly. Pour it immediately into a clean bowl and allow to cool completely.

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold in the coconut custard. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it thickens to ice-cream consistency. Transfer to the freezer and leave for a further 30 minutes before using.

For the grilled pineapple, combine the chillies with the vanilla seeds and pod, all the spices, the sugar and 300ml (10 fl oz) water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook very gently for 15 minutes, then allow to cool.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the pineapple across the base and below the stalk. Standing it on its base, cut down through the centre of the pineapple, cleaving it in two. Cut again lengthways to produce four equal long segments. Place each one, skin-side down, on the board and carefully cut between the skin and flesh, attacking the pineapple first from one side and then the other until you can lift the flesh away from the skin. Cut away the hard central stalk then cut each segment into four long slices.

Heat a cast-iron ridged griddle pan and grill the pineapple slices, turning them 90 degrees to create a criss-cross pattern. This should only take 5–6 minutes. Arrange the slices in an ovenproof dish, pour over the chilli syrup and allow to infuse until ready to serve.

To serve, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mark 4) and gently warm the pineapple in the oven, then serve a few slices with a ball of the coconut or vanilla ice cream and maybe a slice of brioche or French toast.