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Fresh pineapple gratin and a family tradition

March 16, 2010

Fresh Pineapple Gratin

If you were reading my blog about a year ago, you might remember that part of spending Easter with my family involves a couple of quirky traditions.  One is our annual Throwdown.  Think Iron Chef meets Bobby Flay’s Throwdown.  Sort of.  Well, very loosely.

Anyway, my sister Bea (our esteemed chairperson) chooses an ingredient, then my mom, Dani (my other sister), and me come up with a way to cook/bake with that ingredient.  Because my mom’s kitchen isn’t exactly kitchen stadium, we have pretty flexible rules.  Essentially, you just have to use the secret ingredient ~ this year it’s pineapple ~ in some delicious way, and the rest of the family votes for their favorite.  The winner of our throwdown gets bragging rights AND an awesome trophy to keep at her house for a year.

Now, I don’t currently have that trophy, but I’d really like to get it back.  I admit, I’m a little bitter about it too.  Dani won it last year with lemon sorbet, even though I made a pretty amazing lemon-mascarpone parfait.  See, the thing is, most of our voting population is under 11 years old.  If you wanna win it, you’ve gotta get the kid vote.

Needless to say, quite a few fresh pineapples have been eaten around here lately.  And some pineapple rum has been consumed, but I promise only by me and Jim.  I’ve made several pineapple mojitos thinking I could lure the adult votes with liquor and the under-11 set with little drink umbrellas.  {tee hee}  I know, I know.  Not my best plan.  I’ve moved on, though not before realizing that Captain Morgan makes a mighty fine pineapple rum.  Enough said.

So let’s talk about fresh pineapple gratin.  I’ve learned that the term “gratin” really means anything with a browned top, which in this case is sour cream and heavy cream.  Some brown sugar sprinkled over the whole thing brings it all together.  This is delicious, but it won’t get me that trophy back for the simple reason that it won’t appeal to the kids.  Darn those blasted children!

But for the grown-ups?  This would take it easily.  It’s a simple, very tasty dish that can be served warm from the oven (my favorite) or at room temperature.  And it would be a wonderful and unusual side dish for your Easter dinner.

Recipe:  Fresh Pineapple Gratin

(slightly adapted from Bella Online)

This only makes 6 servings, so if you’re feeding more than 4-6 people, buy 2 pineapples and double the recipe.

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 c. spiced rum

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 ripe fresh pineapple, prepared and cut up into 1/2″ pieces   ***Please, no canned pineapple here!***

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger


1/4 c. heavy cream

1 1/4 c. sour cream

1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

1/4 c. brown sugar

Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat.  Add the rum and 1/4 c. brown sugar.  Stir to mix, then add pineapple and ginger.  Turn heat to high and let pineapple caramelize, stirring every 3 minutes or so.  It will take about 10 minutes for the liquid to evaporate and for the pineapple pieces to begin to golden.

Transfer the pineapple to a shallow 1 quart baking dish or divide it between 4-6 ramekins.  (If using ramekins, set them on a baking sheet.)

Whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, and lemon zest.  Spread over the top of the pineapple.  Sprinkle 1/4 c. brown sugar evenly over the sour cream mixture.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  If refrigerating, bring to room temperature before serving.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 2:47 am

    I remember the throwdown from last year! I don’t know how you didn’t win. Those parfaits were delish! I made them in shot glasses. We loved them, even my kiddos but they love citrus.

    Good luck!

  2. March 16, 2010 7:07 am

    I am totally intrigued by this. I LOVE pineapple but pretty much always eat it plain. Hot pineapple, curious! Love the photo!

  3. March 16, 2010 8:37 am

    Now that sounds like a very fun tradition to have. I could just see me, Ma, and my bro Rob going at it- I think we would have a food war! I think this recipe would get that trophy anyday! I wonder if making it in individual very cute dishes would win the kids over, or bribing them may work too.

  4. March 16, 2010 8:37 am

    Oh wait, setting it on fire- yeah the kids would love that. You win.

  5. March 16, 2010 2:50 pm

    Good luck with the Throwdown! Your recipe sounds delicious! A sure winner! I did a Pumpkin Cookie Throwdown with my Boyfriend’s Aunt and soon-to-be-sister-in-law at the end of last year and we had so much fun with it. Now I really want to make it a tradition like you guys! And the trophy idea? GENIUS! What kind of trophy is it? I may have to hit up some thrift stores and see if I can find a totally cheesy one for us!

  6. lisa permalink
    March 16, 2010 3:11 pm

    This link is to a recipe I discovered about a year ago and have made with both canned and fresh pineapple to great success. Everyone loves this. Good luck.

  7. March 16, 2010 6:27 pm

    What a fun family tradition. I’d vote for you if you share that pineapple rum with me!

  8. March 16, 2010 10:49 pm

    i mistakenly thought gratin referred to cheese, which explains why i had my doubts about your dish. glad you set me straight–this sounds wonderful! and ya never know, the kids may love it. :)

  9. oneordinaryday permalink
    March 17, 2010 12:18 am

    Thanks, Lisa! Just checked out your recipe and I’m going to try it. : )
    ~ Michelle

  10. March 17, 2010 4:18 am

    Your family sounds like so much fun! This pineapple dish sounds yummy. Good luck getting that trophy!

  11. oneordinaryday permalink
    March 24, 2010 5:35 am

    Ingrid – I know! I was cheated! haha Just kidding. Dani’s sorbet was really good. : )

    Hungry Dog – I was a little doubtful when I first saw the recipe, but I just loved this. Hope you try it.

    Robin – You’re a genius! Yes, I’m sure setting the whole thing on fire would get me the “kid vote” but my mom might kick me out of her kitchen. LOL

    Danae – I found a site online and ordered a personalized trophy with a chef on top. So fun. If I win it back, I’ll post a pic.

    Monica – I’m thinking of taking it along and selling shots to the adults in exchange for votes. What do you think? ; )

    Grace – You’re right. With so many kids ranging in age, there is quite an assortment of tastes going on there. Ya never know, but I’m still looking….

    Farmer Gal – My family is a hoot, if I do say so myself…. and thanks!


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