Chilli pineapple with mascarpone and ginger biscuits

Chilli pineapple with mascarpone and ginger biscuits
  • Serves icon Serves 4 with biscuits to spare
  • Time icon Takes 20 minutes to make, 45 minutes

This pineapple dessert, with chilli and vanilla, is the perfect example of how you can create something sweet on the barbecue. Add a good dollop of mascarpone and a crunchy ginger biscuit (or two) for the ultimate summer pud.

For each serving of the pineapple: 200kcals, 16.9g fat (10.9g saturated), 1.4g protein, 10.6g carbs (10.8g sugars), 0.1g salt, 1.6g fibre

For 1 ginger biscuit: 162kcals, 8.8g fat (5.7g saturated), 1.1g protein, 19.3g carbs (7.3g sugars), trace salt, 0.4g fibre

Ingredients

For the ginger shortbread biscuits

  • 250g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 160g unrefined caster sugar
  • 2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 250g plain flour
  • 130g cornflour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

For the pineapple

  • ½ ripe pineapple
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped (don’t remove the seeds), or to taste
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 100g mascarpone
  • Ginger shortbread biscuits to serve
  • Drizzle of dark rum to serve (optional)

Method

For the biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3½. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, then stir in the stem ginger. Sift the flours and ground ginger into another bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix the flours into the butter to form a dough – don’t overwork or the biscuits will be tough. Roll into 24 walnut-size pieces and put on the baking sheets, 5cm apart. Gently flatten the biscuits slightly using a fork dipped into flour. Bake for 20-24 minutes until lightly golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

For the pineapple:

  1. Cut the skin from the pineapple, keeping its round shape. Slice into 4 x 2cm thick rounds. Remove the core of each round using a melon-baller or thin sharp knife.
  2. Put the butter, chilli and vanilla extract in a small pan and bring to a sizzle, then cook over a low heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Prepare the parcels by cutting out 4 large squares each of baking paper and foil. Lay a square of foil on a work surface and put a square of baking paper on top. Brush the centre with some of the chilli butter mixture, then put a round of pineapple in the centre. Brush with some more chilli butter, then fold the baking paper over, like an envelope. Tightly wrap it with the foil. Prepare the other 3 pineapple parcels the same way and chill in the fridge until needed.
  4. Once all the savoury food has been cooked on the barbecue, give the grill a good scrub-down and wipe. Put the foil packages over a medium-low heat and cook for 15 minutes on each side. If the barbecue has become too cool, you may need to pile up the charcoal in one spot to get it going again. The pineapple will steam and sizzle in the foil.
  5. To serve, put a package on each plate and snip open with scissors. Dollop in some of the mascarpone and serve each with a ginger shortbread biscuit or two. For adults, a little slosh of dark rum poured over the hot pineapple before serving is pretty darned good too.

delicious. tips

  1. The pineapple must be fully ripe for this recipe, otherwise the flavour will be disappointing.

    The ginger biscuit recipe makes more than you’ll need for pudding but they’re great for afternoon tea and will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight tin.

  2. Get ahead by prepping this dish earlier in the day. Keep the foil parcels in the fridge until you’re ready to barbecue them.

    The shortbread biscuits can be made a day or two ahead and kept in an airtight container until needed.

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