Pineapple was the first fruit I ever grilled and it remains a Raichlen family favorite. The key is to grill over a hot fire so you caramelize the sugar while leaving the fruit raw and juicy in the center. Mezcal is a tequila-like spirit made with fire-roasted agave cactus hearts. This gives it a smoky flavor—think of it as Mexican liquid smoke.
Spice-Grilled Pineapple with Smoky Whipped Cream
- Yield: Serves 4 to 8
For the Spiced Smoked Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons Dessert Rub
- 2 tablespoons mezcal or 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
For the Pineapple
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons Dessert Rub
- 1 juicy ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (core it or not, your choice)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (use a Thai or Latino brand)
- Ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Step 1: Make the whipped cream: Place the cream and Dessert Rub in a chilled metal bowl. Beat to soft peaks with an electric mixer. Add the mezcal or liquid smoke and continue beating to firm peaks. Keep chilled.
Step 2: Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Step 3: Place the Dessert Rub in a shallow bowl next to the grill. Brush each pineapple slice on both sides with coconut milk, then completely dredge it in the rub, shaking off any excess.
Step 4: Arrange the pineapple slices over the hot fire and grill until darkly browned (the sugar should start to caramelize) on both sides, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter or plates. Top each slice with a dollop of the whipped cream and shake a little ground cinnamon or grate some nutmeg on top.