Years ago when I was a caterer in Atlanta, we were catering a dinner party on a very hot summer night; the hostess wanted a refreshing, chilly dessert. When I suggested serving some kind of ice cream, she mentioned that she loved pineapple, and that’s how this recipe came about. When I made this all those years ago, I used full fat ice cream but the pineapple topping is still the same. I served fresh fruit for that party but for this recipe I used canned pineapple. In this case, it just works better than fresh. Now you know you can make this anytime of year because canned pineapple is available all the time. This topping is also great on angel food cake or a topping for oatmeal. I hope you give this recipe a try and please let me know what you think.
- 1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained; save 2 tbsp juice and save the rest for another recipe
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup sweetened coconut, toasted (directions will follow on how to toast the coconut)
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp reserved pineapple juice
- 3 cups low fat vanilla ice cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract — optional
- Whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees; have a cookie sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Parchment paper does not work well for this recipe.
- Spread the coconut out on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 5-10 minutes and check them after 5 minutes as we don’t want to burn the coconut. We want it to be lightly browned and toasted. You can shake the cookie sheet once or twice for even toasting. Take out when it’s a nice light brown color and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, mix cornstarch, sugar and pinch of salt with a whisk. If you have a flat whisk like the one I used in the picture that would be great because it gets into the corners of the pan. Add the pineapple, reserved pineapple juice and lemon juice, and cook over medium to high heat until the mixture thickens and you see a slight boil. Don’t let it burn. Stir constantly. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the extracts. Stir gently. You will love the smell!
- Let topping cool to warm or room temperature. You can chill it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to cool faster, if needed.
- Have 4 dessert dishes ready and scoop out 3/4 cup of ice cream in each dish. Now top each with the warm pineapple topping and the toasted coconut.