Vanilla Black Pepper Semifreddo With Pineapple Rum Compote

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on June 7, 2012

I love all kinds of fruit and I’m especially partial to fresh pineapple…and not just any pineapple, it has to be the sweet golden variety. On a recent trip to the Asian market in Baltimore, I found some HUGE golden pineapples for sale for $1.99 each, so I just had to pick up a few. I love to cut it up and eat it as is, but when I want to make something a little more decadent, I will cut up the pineapple into rings and sauté them in a little caramel sauce. Today, I was going to make a few things and thought I would put them all together in one great dessert.

I decided to slice up a few pineapple rings, make some pineapple rum compote from some crushed pineapple I had on hand and even made some vanilla black pepper semifreddo. If you have never had pepper (black, pink or white) in vanilla ice cream, you are really missing out on a great little taste sensation. I love black pepper in vanilla ice cream because I find that it elevates the vanilla notes and leaves a lovely warmth in the back of your throat which contrasts with the coolness of the semifreddo…a lovely and unique sensation.

My pineapple rum compote is not only served on ice cream, but I also bake this compote along with some vanilla pastry cream right into my yellow cake base which is available for purchase in our E-shop, and turn it into a piña colada custard cake.

The compote can be used as a delicious topping or filling, and is a recipe that I know you will not only love but one that you will come to depend on instead of that jarred stuff full of artificial colors and preservatives. To make it uniquely yours you can add some crushed macadamia nuts or even some shredded coconut for a more exotic Caribbean flavor…before you know it you’ll be pulling out the hula skirt and singing along with Don Ho…

Pineapple Rum Compote
1-20 oz can crushed pineapple, strain and remove 1 cup of juice
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup of Myers rum
1 tablespoon cornstarch, sifted (dissolved in a little of the rum to make a slurry) 

Measure out 1 cup of Myers’s rum then take a few tablespoons and add it into a small bowl. Add the sifted cornstarch and stir well until there are no lumps. Add the can of crushed pineapple, the sugar and the rest of the rum into a small pot. Turn heat onto medium high and make sure the sugar has melted and the mixture begins to bubble slightly. At this point, add in the slurry and stir with a wooden spoon until it has thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely then cover and store in the refrigerator.

Caramel Pineapple Rings
3 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoon corn syrup
6 large fresh pineapple rings (1 large pineapple)
1/4 cup Myer’s Rum

Slice pineapple into 6 equal slices with peeling the exterior. Take a large size cutter and trim off the outside skin and then take a smaller cutter an remove the core. Do this with all of the rings and then set them aside. This will ensure that all of the slices are the same size for a prettier presentation. Next, add the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a large sauté pan and stir everything well together. These will all melt together and when they do, add in the rum, mix again and then add the pineapple rings. Turn the heat down to medium low, and gently turn and coat the rings until the glisten. Allow the pineapple to release a little of its juice and continue to baste and turn the pineapple in the caramel sauce. You don’t really want to cook it for too long because they will fall apart, you just want to warm it through about 5 minutes total, then shut off the heat and set them aside to cool slightly before plating with the ice cream. 

Vanilla Black Pepper Semifreddo

1 recipe vanilla semifreddo (without the heath bar pieces)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or use ground pink peppercorns for contrast)

To plate add one of the pineapple rings along with a scoop of the vanilla black pepper semifreddo and top this with the pineapple rum compote…then quickly grab a spoon.

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