Grilled pineapple with vanilla mascarpone is the perfect summer dessert. Pineapple gets caramelized on the grill, then cool mascarpone melts and pools around it. Topped with fresh blueberries and rum glaze, there’s nothing quite like it.
Ripe pineapple, with its plentiful natural sugars, is ideal for grilling. This makes a great dessert after spicy Latin, Indian, or Caribbean food. Make sure to let the slices brown; you want lots of those caramelized, almost burnt edges.
Mascarpone is a smooth Italian dairy product with a texture somewhere between whipped cream and cream cheese. It’s used in tiramisu and available in many supermarkets and gourmet stores, but if you can’t find it, good-quality vanilla ice cream will taste just fine.–Bobby Flay
Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Mascarpone
- 1 cup dark rum
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 8 ounces mascarpone*
- 1 ripe pineapple peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife. Whisk the mascarpone and vanilla seeds together. (The mascarpone can be made a day in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.)
- Heat your grill to high.
- Grill the pineapple slices, brushing frequently with the glaze, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the pineapple to a platter or serving plates and top each slice with a dollop of vanilla mascarpone. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries. Serve immediately.
*What can I substitute for mascarpone?An exceptionally smooth Italian cream cheese, mascarpone is often used in cheesecake and tiramisu because of its sweet, milky flavor, and soft texture. You can sub straight cream cheese for it in some uses but in something like this, you might want to up your game with one of the following. First, you can make it yourself. Or you can add blend 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup of whipping cream or 1/4 cup of sour cream. Whip it up until it’s smooth and creamy and you’re good to go.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I have made this twice in the last week, both times with great results. The second time was the best, because I made the vanilla mascarpone enough in advance to really let the vanilla flavor come through. The warmth of the pineapple starts melting the mascarpone so it gets creamier and starts to spread, making each bite a perfect combination of warm, cool, strong, mild, sweet, tart…heaven.
This is one of those desserts that looks so lovely you want people to see it — the glazed pineapple is amazing, and the contrast of colors, flavors, and temperature with the blueberries, strawberries we added, and the mascarpone is perfect.
Grilling is one of the best ways to work through the piles of gorgeous fruit that I can't stop buying all summer long. I've grilled fruit in the past but this recipe is something different entirely. The combination of the glaze and the cream make it a perfect dessert.
We grilled pineapple, a few nectarines, and a couple of skewers of strawberries and they were all fantastic. The pineapple picked up the most caramelization (because pineapples are just so full of sugar) and was probably the best.
The vanilla mascarpone was my favourite part. I made it the day before and it tasted even better after that 24 hour rest. I'll be making this for all kinds of desserts, it's rich, creamy, and just so good that I'm planning to slather it on everything.
As for the glaze, I wouldn't change anything, either. It's just sweet enough and the addition of rum gives another layer of flavour that really complimented the fruit, especially the pineapple. I can't wait to make this again.
Originally published April 27, 2004