I remember being very surprised when I learnt that pineapples are considered to be a symbol of welcome in many cultures. To me, pineapples are the Sideshow Bob of the fruit world – funny to look at, but mess with one and you’ll end up all stabby.
This dubious notion of welcoming with pineapples is confirmed in an article by those fine purveyors of investigative journalism Cross Stitch Plus, where they reveal that “seafaring captains used to impale fresh pineapples – souvenirs of their lengthy travels to tropical ports – atop the porch railings of their homes when they returned as a symbol that the man of the house was home and ready to receive visitors”.
Yes, receive visitors with his cutlass, perhaps. Impaling anything out the front of your house doesn’t exactly scream welcome, and I suspect that this was more of a symbol to the non-seafaring men of the community that the captain was all too aware of what may have been happening in his long absence.
Now, if the captain had laid out a nicely doilied up platter of sliced pineapple, and a few glasses of freshly juiced pineapple mixed with lemonade and adorned with little paper umbrellas, it might be another story.
Although I didn’t have any such treats at the ready the other day I still found myself receiving a visitor in the form of my postman delivering me a present from Tropical Pineapples in Queensland. The ‘King of Fruit‘ pineapples that I received were topless which is nice for three reasons – no danger of stabby issues, the farmer retains the top to grow another plant with, and you can have a giggle at the term if you’re so inclined.
I thought I should make my pineapple guests feel at home by inviting some coconuts and macadamias around for a little welcoming soiree. I know that things can get a little crazy in the tropics, but I wasn’t quite ready for the party to get out of hand so quickly – before I knew it all three of my house guests were totally roasted and getting stuck into the ice cream.
The pineapples used in this recipe were supplied by Tropical Pineapples King of Fruit. If you like the look of this debaucherous tropical party recipe then I would be ever so grateful if you voted for it on the King of Fruit website – you just need to supply an email address to vote (be aware the confirmation email may sneak into your junk mail folder, so please check there for it!).
with roasted pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts
Makes 1.25 L
- 330mL thick cream
- 270ml tin of coconut milk
- 2 Tb lightly toasted flaked coconut
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 145g caster sugar
- Half a fresh King of Fruit pineapple (to yield 400 g fresh fruit)
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Peel the pineapple and slice into ~2cm thick rings, removing the hard core as well, then place the rings on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place the macadamia nuts on another oven tray.
2. Place both trays in the preheated oven, roasting the nuts for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, and the pineapple for 30 minutes or until beginning to brown at the edges.
3. Remove both from oven and allow to cool. Set nuts aside. Once the pineapple is cool, puree coarsely using a food processor or stick blender then place in fridge to chill.
4. Meanwhile, place the cream and coconut milk in a saucepan. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean, then add them and the bean to the mixture. Bring this to the boil, then turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse before removing the bean.
5. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale. Carefully pour the cream mixture over, whisking as you do so, then pour everything into a clean saucepan.
6. Cook the mixture over a low heat while constantly stirring, for about five minutes until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
7. Set mixture aside to cool, then refrigerate until cold (at least 30 minutes – can leave overnight).
8. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions, adding the pineapple, macadamia nuts and coconut during the final stages of churning. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a plastic container in the freezer until frozen at the edges; then remove from freezer and beat with an electric beater before refreezing; then repeat this process twice more, adding the pineapple, nuts and coconut during the final beating.
9. Serve accompanied with your favourite hot pineapple treat.
I served mine with a pineapple and a banana fritter, in memory of the old school Hawaiian Pack from Red Rooster and Chicken Treat. I was also tempted to up the nostalgic reminiscing by frying up a serve of hot chips, sitting some bbq chicken on top of them for the amount of time it would take Mum to drive dinner home from Red Rooster so that they were just the right level of unpleasantly soggy, and finding an old episode of Sale of the Century to watch while I ate.
Really though, all you need to enjoy this ice cream is a bowl and a spoon, bowl optional. Given that I’ve been known to say on more than one occasion that if you rolled a turd in coconut I’d think it was delicious, you might be forgiven for thinking I can’t be objective about this ice cream, but it really is seriously good. A definite must-try for coconut lovers, pineapple lovers, macadamia lovers and seafaring captains.