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Pineapple Au Gratin

Pineapple is already pretty perfect just the way it is. But would anyone protest if you topped it with a crumble of coconut, gingersnaps, and macadamia nuts, drizzled it with vanilla-infused coconut milk, and then popped it in the oven until it was all hot and bubbly?

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Nope. I didn’t think so. Say hello to my new favorite summertime dessert (well, along with this one, of course).

My boys are always begging for a little “treat” to top off dinner, but I try not to let a sugary dessert become a daily affair. But hey, we’re talking about fruit here, right? This sweet treat comes without all of the guilt. It ends up being healthier than most desserts (containing only a small amount of added sugar, relatively speaking…and coconut milk is good for you, remember?), yet it’s certainly not lacking in the flavor department.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

This over-the-top pineapple was inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest awhile back, which traces back to a gem from Bon Appétit. It originally called for sweetened condensed milk, which I decided to swap out for coconut milk in hopes of a nice piña colada-esque end result. Also, as good as the dark rum sounded per the original recipe, I figured I probably better sub some vanilla extract instead, seeing as how I’d be serving this to my young children and I strive to be all responsible-like. But don’t kid yourself…I’ll be trying the rum-laced version on some later occasion.

The final verdict? Pretty darn good. I’ve always been a fan of warm pineapple (grilled on kebabs, paired with Canadian bacon on pizza, etc. etc.), but if you’re not, you could certainly allow this concoction to cool off before serving. Regardless of temperature, the pineapple juice mingling with the coconut milk is reminiscent of my favorite poolside umbrella drink, and the topping is gooey and chewy in some places and crunchy in others with a gingery bite that’s countered by the salt from the macadamia nuts. In summary? YUMMY. If you like pineapple, it’s a must-try. If you don’t like pineapple, this recipe just might change your mind.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Preparing it is pretty quick and easy as well.  I don’t usually include step-by-step photos with my recipes, but I think they might help illustrate the pineapple-prepping directions in this case.

Slice your pineapple from top to bottom but a little off center, so that your resulting two pieces are more like 1/3 and 2/3 as opposed to perfect halves.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Use a small, sharp knife to very carefully remove the core from the larger side.  Odds are you missed the core altogether when you sliced off the smaller piece, but if not, remove any remnants there as well.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Now you’re going to cut all of the pineapple flesh into chunks while reserving a “shell.” For the smaller side, that means slicing off the skin and chopping up the pineapple, and for the larger side, you’ll need to carefully remove chunks of pineapple using a small knife while preserving the outermost layer. Work slowly so as to keep all of your fingers intact and don’t worry if your resulting pineapple chunks and pieces are less-than-uniform.

When I got down to the bottom of my pineapple shell, I had the lofty goal of avoiding a trip to the ER for stitches. So I decided it might be a smart idea to ditch the knife I had been using in favor of the serrated end of a melon baller to shred/scoop the remaining pineapple. It ended up having more of a crushed pineapple consistency, but like I said before, that doesn’t really matter. The pineapple pieces get hidden by the topping, so the main objective here is to loosen the pineapple from the shell to make serving later that much easier.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Once all of your pineapple is chopped up, pile it back into your hollowed out shell, packing it in there as firmly as possible.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Drizzle with half of your coconut milk mixture and then carefully mound your topping all over the pineapple, pressing it down so that it adheres to the milk. Slowly pour the rest of the coconut milk over the topping, allowing it time to soak in rather than run straight down the sides, and you’re all set to bake this baby!

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

Now you’re going to have to wait a long half hour or so until…TA-DAAA!!! Pineapple perfection.

Pineapple Au Gratin ~ a pineapple topped with shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, & macadamia nuts, then drizzled with coconut milk and baked until hot & bubbly  |  {Five Heart Home}

This is a really fun, unique, summery treat, sure to please your family, impress your guests, and transport anyone who tastes it to a tropical paradise. And what more can you ask of a dessert than that?

Pineapple Au Gratin

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pineapple Au Gratin

A halved pineapple is topped with a layer of coconut, crushed gingersnaps, and macadamia nuts, drizzled with vanilla-laced coconut milk, and then baked until hot and bubbly for a treat that's gooey and crunchy at the same time.

Ingredients

  • Whole pineapple
  • Can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Directions

  1. Wash the outside of your pineapple. (You're going to be cutting into it so whatever is on the outside will be transferred to the inside.)
  2. Without shaking or overturning, carefully open can of coconut milk. Using a large spoon or small ladle, scoop the thick cream from the top into a small pot. Stop when the opaque white milk gives way to the clear, watery looking milk. This will amount to about half the can.
  3. Set the pot over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Turn to low, stir in sugar and vanilla and stir constantly for about five minutes or until sugar is dissolved and milk is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, make topping by combining shredded coconut, crushed gingersnaps, and chopped macadamia nuts. Set aside.
  5. Adjust oven rack to one level below center. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  6. Prepare pineapple by slicing from top to bottom but a little off center, so that the resulting pieces are 1/3 and 2/3 as opposed to two perfect halves. Leaves should remain intact; do not cut them off.
  7. Use a small, sharp knife to carefully remove the core from the larger side. If there is a bit of core on the smaller side, remove it from there as well.
  8. For the smaller side, slice off the skin and chop up the pineapple. For the larger side, slowly and carefully cut out chunks of pineapple using a small knife, or use the serrated end of a melon baller to remove the pineapple remaining at the very bottom. Pineapple pieces do not have to be uniform.
  9. Once all of the pineapple is chopped up, pack it firmly back into the hollowed out shell. Place the stuffed pineapple in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  10. Drizzle pineapple with half of the cooled coconut milk mixture and then carefully mound the topping mixture all over the pineapple, pressing it down so that it adheres to the milk. Slowly pour the rest of the coconut milk over the topping.
  11. Place baking dish in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until topping is starting to lightly brown and filling is hot and bubbly. Check pineapple frequently after the first 10 to 15 minutes of baking to ensure that it isn't browning too quickly, and if it is, tent it with a piece of foil. Serve hot.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

If you wish, you may substitute 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk for the coconut milk.

For a boozy pineapple dessert, substitute 2 tablespoons dark rum for the vanilla extract.

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/07/29/pineapple-au-gratin/

Adapted from Wives with Knives, originally via Bon Appetit.

 

This post is linked to Two Cup Tuesday #30 at Pint Sized Baker, Time to Sparkle #20 at Inside BruCrew Life, Totally Tasty Tuesdays #29 at Mandy’s Recipe Box, Terrific Tuesdays #74 at Adventures of a DIY Mom, Lil Luna Link Party #138 at Lil Luna, What’s In Your Kitchen Wednesday #33 at Kitchen Meets Girl, Wednesday Extravaganza #38 at Hungry Little Girl, Live Laugh Linky #72 at Live Laugh Rowe, Hookin Up with HoH #159 at House of Hepworths, Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop #21 at House of Rose, Weekend Wrap-Up Party at Tater Tots & Jello, Weekend Potluck # 78 at 4 Little Fergusons, Best of the Weekend Party #15 at A Little Claireification, Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party Week 108 at Six Sisters’ Stuff, Sundae Scoop Link Party #91 at I Heart Naptime, Sunday Linky #19 at Suburbs Mama, and Monday Funday Link Party {29} at Uncommon Designs.

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Comments

  1. Oh my gosh. I HAVE to make that. Thank you so much for sharing! I am loving your blog. :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I think you’ll love it, Madeline! And thanks so much for your kind words about my blog…I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying it!

  2. Too fabulous, pinned and zipped! I will be making this! Thanks ever so

  3. This sounds fantastic and so different! Great party dessert. I hope you’ll come share at my party.

    I found you at Time to Sparkle!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the comment and for the invite to your party…I’ll definitely stop over and check it out!

  4. Trish Butler says:

    I wasn’t going to look at this recipe because of the name Au Gratin, but boy am I glad I did. Much to my horror I expected to see pineapple covered in cheese. Thank you for not doing that. lol I can’t wait to have company over and serve them this. I am going to tell them we’re having pineapple au gratin and let them think about until dinner. Thank you for this wonderfully fresh dessert.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      How funny, Trish…I’m glad you took the leap and gave it a look! I was hoping the photo would make it evident that it wasn’t topped with cheese, but I know it’s hard to tell in those tiny link party pics. Hope you enjoy the recipe (and enjoy confusing your company with it!)… ;)

  5. Wow what a great idea!!!! I love how it’s served in the pineapple, it looks fabulous!!

  6. That is seriously beautiful! Looks pretty yummy too :)
    I would like to invite you to my weekly linky party Share Your Stuff Tuesdays.
    Hope to see you there!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for the comment and the invite, Erin…I’ll definitely go check it out! :)

  7. What a awesome dessert! Pinning!

  8. Yum! It looks so delish and pretty!

  9. Hi Samantha – this looks absolutely amazing!! Wow! Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Pinning to our party board and I’ll definitely be sharing this on FB over the weekend! Hope your weekend is fantastic and join us next Friday. I definitely have to try this! :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for everything, Cindy…you’re too sweet! Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!

  10. I love it. It’s such a Hawaiian treat with the pineapple, coconut milk and macadamia nuts. I’ve pinned this for later.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Joy! And yes, the ingredients are very Hawaiian (and very yummy!). :)

  11. Samantha, this is incredible. Not only is it so creative and beautiful, it looks delicious. I love that you used gingersnaps and macadamia nuts! Definitely pinning this one following you! :)

  12. Oh my, this looks absolutely delicious, Samantha!! I would love for you to link up to my Tasty Thursdays party going on right now.

    Thanks, Nichi – The Mandatory Mooch

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the invitation, Nichi…I’ll definitely check out your party when I have a chance!

  13. WOW! This looks fantastic!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  14. Oh.good.heavens! This is SUCH an interesting, beautiful, tasty, etc. etc. dish! I LOVE it! I’m so tickled you shared with us at Weekend Potluck, but did I miss seeing your link back to the party? Looks like you are a faithful link-back-er…=) This is just amazing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oh no…so sorry about that! Yes, I always link back, so I must have linked up on my phone and then forgotten to link back when I got back to my computer. Thanks so much for letting me know!

  15. This looks super yummy! I would love it if you would come and link up to my party today :)

  16. Melinda Wilson says:

    I made this for desert tonight. It was a hit! The shell was empty! I made a couple adjustments on the topping to use what I had in my cupboards; shredded coconut, almonds and Kind gluten free gronolla, served 13 guests scoped it on top of vanilla bean ice cream.
    Thanks for the creative idea.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      That sounds wonderful, Melinda! I bet it was really good with granola. I really appreciate you coming back and letting me know how it turned out. I’m so glad it was a hit with your guests! :)

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