Caramelised Pineapple, Pine Needle Syrup and Pine Nut Brittle

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You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 200 g (7 oz) pine needles
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into rings

Tonka Bean and Coconut Sorbet

  • 160 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 40 g ( oz) glucose
  • 700 ml (24 fl oz) coconut cream
  • 3 tonka beans, grated with a microplane

Pine Needle Sugar

  • 200 g (7 oz) pine needles
  • 400 g (14 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

Pine Nut Brittle

  • 90 g ( oz) butter
  • 120 g ( oz) isomalt powder
  • 50 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 g ( oz) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) pine nuts, toasted

Method

Put the caster sugar and pine needles in a saucepan with 800 ml (28 fl oz) of water. Put over low heat and simmer for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Set aside to cool then strain the liquid into a large bowl and submerge the pineapple pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight to intensify the flavour.

To make the sorbet, put 200 ml (7 fl oz) of water, the sugar and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to low and add the coconut cream, grated tonka beans and an extra 100 ml ( fl oz) of water. Simmer for 2 minutes until well combined and set aside to cool and allow flavours to infuse. Strain and chill until cold then pour into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze overnight.

To make the pine needle sugar, dry the pine needles in a 50°C (120°F) oven for 4–6 hours then blend in a spice grinder until a fragrant green powder is formed. Alternatively, blend the needles on high in a Thermomix set to 40°C (105°F). Add the sugar and mix to combine. Remove from the grinder and set aside.

To make the pine nut brittle, line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat the butter, isomalt powder, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over high heat until caramelised, stirring to prevent catching. Add the bicarbonate of soda and toasted pine nuts, stir to combine then pour onto the prepared baking tray. Once the brittle has set, cut or break it into bite-size pieces.

To finish, place the pineapple on a heatproof tray and spoon enough pine needle sugar over the surface of the pineapple to cover it. Use a blowtorch to brûlée the surface of the pineapple until the sugar has set and is dark golden. Place a ring of pineapple on each plate, spoon on additional sugar to add gloss then arrange pieces of brittle on top. Finish with a quenelle of the sorbet.