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Pukka Pineapple with Bashed-Up Mint Sugar

Cookbook

Happy Days with the Naked Chef

Published by Michael Joseph/Penguin

This image courtesy of David Loftus

As a child I always thought that a simple fruit option for dessert was flippin’ boring and it never excited me in the slightest. But I now realize it was because no one did anything remotely exciting with the fruit. This recipe, however, I would definitely have enjoyed as a kid. It’s one of those combinations that just explodes in your mouth and you can’t get enough of it. Once you try it, you’ll never forget it.

Serves4

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbrunch, dinner

Moodstressed

Taste and Texturefruity, herby, juicy, light, sweet, tart

Type of Dishdessert, fruit

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • Optional: natural yogurt, to serve
  • 4 heaped tablespoons caster sugar (granulated sugar)
  • 1 handful of fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Buy yourself a ripe pineapple. It should smell slightly sweet and you should be able to remove the leaves quite easily. Cut both ends off and peel the skin with a knife, removing any little black bits. Then cut the pineapple into quarters and remove the slightly less tasty core, which I usually discard or suck on while preparing the rest of the dish. Finely slice your quarters, lengthways, as thin as you can. Lay out flat in one or two layers on a large plate. Don’t refrigerate this – just put it to one side.

  2. Take the plate to the table after dinner with a pot of yogurt that can be passed round, then return with a pestle and mortar with the sugar in it. Your family or guests will probably think you’ve gone mad, especially if you ignore them while you do this, but pick the mint leaves and add them to the sugar. Bash the hell out of it in the pestle and mortar at the table. You’ll see the sugar change colour and it will smell fantastic. It normally takes about a minute to do if you’ve got a good wrist action. Sprinkle the mint sugar over the plate of pineapple – making sure you don’t let anyone nick any pineapple before you sprinkle the sugar over. What a fantastic thing. If you have any leftovers, you could always make a piña colada with them.

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Pineapple and mint is indeed a terrific combination, but why add sugar to an already sweet pineapple? Chop the mint very finely, mix with the pineapple and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavour of the mint to infuse the fruit.

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