Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Black Pepper

Roasted Pineapple, Mascarpone, Black Pepper Ice Cream

I don't know about you, but when I think of combining of dairy and pineapple the "diet plate" at my local diner comes to mind. Well, if I am being completely honest, I think of the aforementioned diet plate in the 1980's. I like to imagine women dressed in spandex and legwarmers gathering after their morning jazzercise classes to share a low-cal meal comprised of a little cup of cottage cheese with canned pineapple on top, an egg white or two and a slice of tomato, maybe a slice of dry wheat toast if they're lucky, but I digress, I'm sure you didn't click on this post in hopes of reading about ladies in leotards. Let's talk about ice cream made from sweet caramelized pineapple and rich mascarpone cheese instead, sound good?

Roasted Pineapple, Mascarpone, Black Pepper Ice Cream

The base of this frozen treat is a cinch to put together, there is no cooking of custard, no waiting for it to chill before churning (no churning at all!), and when it comes time to add the black pepper you might be tempted to skip it but please give it a try. The small amount creates a gentle warmth which cuts through the richness of the caramelized pineapple and the ice cream base. If you want to torture your neighbors, leave your doors and windows open while you roast the pineapple because the scent is absolutely intoxicating.

Did I mention that you don't even need an ice cream machine to throw this together? The texture is unbelievably smooth and if your freezer is crappy like mine it will stay perfectly soft and scoopable even if it's been in there for a few days (good luck keeping it around that long). Maybe make it for your pops, I hear dads like bourbon.

Have a great weekend!

Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Black Pepper

Roasted Pineapple Puree 

adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

This pineapple tastes great on it's own or on top of  store bought ice cream if you don't want to make your own.

1 cup sugar

1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into eight rings

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped

pinch salt

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 ounce butter

Preheat oven to 375º

1. In a large skillet, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook the sugar and water, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture if a deep amber caramel 5-7 minutes.

2. Add the vanilla bean seeds and salt and stir gently to distribute them then add the pineapple slices and vanilla bean pod. Slide the pan into the oven and cook until the pineapple is tender and translucent, basting every 10 minutes.

3. When the pineapple is cooked, remove the slices from the liquid and set aside. Put the skillet full of juices over medium heat, add the bourbon and simmer gently until the mixture has reduced by half, then whisk in the butter off of the heat. Reserve the liquid for serving.

4. When the pineapple slices are cool enough to handle, take 5 of them and pulse in a blender or food processor until they are chopped into very small pieces, but not completely liquid. Cut the remaining 3 slices into chunks and reserve to serve with the finished ice cream.

Black Pepper Ice Cream Base (no churning required!)

adapted from Everyday Food

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

4 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, mascarpone, salt and pepper.

2. In a separate large bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.

To Assemble

You'll need a wide, shallow glass or metal pan, roughly 9x9 inches

Black Pepper Ice Cream Base

Roasted Pineapple Puree

freshly cracked black pepper

Pour 1/3 of the black pepper ice cream base into the baking dish and smooth to even it. Dollop heaping tablespoons of the roasted pineapple mixture on the surface, about 1'' apart. Top with 1/2 of the remaining ice cream base, dollop with roasted pineapple, then finally top with the remaining ice cream base. If you have a bit of extra pineapple puree, just eat it! It's delicious on it's own. Smooth the top to cover most of the pineapple, then using a knife or toothpick, gently swirl the pineapple and base together. Be careful not to mix too much, you just want to create pockets of pineapple in each scoop. Crack a bit of fresh black pepper over the surface and freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with the reserved pineapple slices and gently warmed pineapple caramel.