Slices of hot, grilled pineapple with a mint and citrus sugar.
Make the mint sugar: pull 20 mint leaves from their stems and put them in the bowl of a food processor with 50g of caster sugar. Process to a pale green sugar. (You can also do this with a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pain in a mixing bowl.) Finely grate the zest of an orange then stir it into the mint and orange sugar.
Get a ridged griddle pan nice and hot. Cut the topknot of leaves from a ripe pineapple and discard it, then slice the pineapple in half lengthways. Cut each half in half again and then cut it into wedges to give 16 short pieces.
Place the pieces of pineapple on the griddle and leave for about 8 minutes until lightly coloured on the underside, (check them regularly) then turn with kitchen tongs and cook the other side. The fruit should be sweet and juicy with dark brown stripes on the cut sides.
Serve the pineapple slices with the mint and orange sugar, sprinkling the sugar over them while the fruit is hot, so it melts into a delicious puddle around the fruit. Enough for 4-6
Scatter the herb sugar over the fruit as soon as you can. The sugar will soften and melt over the pineapple. The sweet citrussy-mint juices are worth a teaspoon.
As simple as a sweet treat can be, it’s worth taking a little care with your pineapple. Check the fruit is ripe by giving it a careful squeeze – it should be gently giving. The fruit should emerge from the griddle lightly scorched – the smokiness is wonderful with the sweet juice.
A lemon sorbet or vanilla ice-cream is stunning with the hot pineapple, though the fruit is good on its own.
You can roast your pineapple, too. Pile the prepared fruit into a baking dish and sprinkle with some of the sugar (keeping some back for the table). Roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for about 25 minutes, occasionally basting with the sugar.
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