When I eat a pineapple, my mind is transported to the beautiful 10 days I spent in Maui on my honeymoon. Clear blue skies, pristine beaches, soft sand between my toes, and a tropical drink in my hand. The fruit in Maui is like no other fruit I have ever eaten. Every bite is sweet and full of flavor. We picked guava from the side of the road, bit into the gooey centers and let the juices flow down our face - best mid day snack ever. We tried strawberry papaya and passion fruit from a road side stand and drank Maui grown coffee. *Sigh* I need to go back...and soon.
In the mean time, I rely on my local grocery store to stock my tropical fruit. Most pineapples stocked by major US grocery stores are from Hawaii. There is a part of me that cringes each time I buy one, knowing how far the fruit traveled to get to me (big cost and pollution), but sometimes I just can't resist.
There is some debate about how to pick out a pineapple. Like most ripe fruit, it should be heavy for its size. I rely on smell. I stick my nose on the bottom of the pineapple and take a big sniff - the sweeter the better. My mom also instructed me to pull out a leaf from the middle of the pineapple - if it comes out easily the pineapple is probably ripe. What is your method?
A recent longing for Maui prompted the idea to make pineapple sorbet and the mint growing in my backyard seemed like a good addition (plus, I have eaten pineapple mint sorbet before and it was very good). I added a little bit of champagne to make the sorbet airy and fluffy with excellent results. Enjoy! And may the taste take you to somewhere magical.
1/2 pineapple, peeled & cored (500 ml puree)
8 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Prepare pineapple and place in a blender with sugar. Puree until no chunks remain. Add water and champagne, pulse to combine. Add mint and pulse again. Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 3 hours). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.