Sunday, May 8, 2011

Braised Pineapple, Candied Walnuts with Thyme, Black Pepper-Blackberry Marmalade

This dessert originally started out being roasted peaches with rosemary...but two stores later, neither of them had fresh rosemary or peaches! I was not about to go to a third store, that would just be obnoxious, so I changed the dessert around to accommodate my need for something sweet. Lucky for me the pineapple was super sweet and tasted great.

Sweet pineapple braised in caramelized sugar and fresh thyme with salty walnuts and sweet blackberry marmalade spiked with black pepper.

Braised Pineapple with Candied Walnuts and Thyme
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbl fresh thyme leaves
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, sliced into 4 large steaks
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
1 tbl earth balance butter
sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Bring the water, brown sugar and fresh thyme leaves to a boil in a small sauce pot. Boil for 1 minute until the sugar has dissolved and remove from heat.
Toast the walnuts in a dry saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter and toss to melt. Add 2-3 tbl of the sugar syrup mixture and toss. Saute 3-4 minutes more until the nuts are fully toasted and coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and dried thyme and pour out onto a plate or paper bag to dry.
Place all four pineapple steaks on the baking sheet and pour all of the remaining syrup over top. Roast for 15 minutes, turn each pineapple over and roast 10 minutes more until golden brown and sticky.

Black Pepper-Blackberry Marmalade
1 lb fresh blackberries or frozen and thawed
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 tbl cornstarch
1 tbl fresh lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper
sea salt

Toss berries with the sugar and cornstarch and heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until the juices start to release and thicken, 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, black pepper and a pinch of salt and cook down until slightly chunky. Serve warm over pineapple steaks.

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