Well, not really Piña Colada, since there’s no alcohol involved, just fresh pineapple, coconut, and a bit of lemon juice. But, pineapple and coconut are a perfect flavor match that just can’t go wrong. Right now, at least here in Tucson, gold pineapples are coming into the stores with great sale prices. We’ve been buying three or four pineapples each week.
With that many pineapples, while we eat a lot of them just cut and chilled, we do have to find another use, too, so we thought of pineapple sorbet. We started making it, but changed our minds partway through and added coconut. Isn’t that one of the best things about scratching? You can change whatever you’re making to suit what you want, not what some company thinks you want.
Finally, we’ll show this being churned with an ice cream freezer, but we’ve read (although we haven’t tested it here in the Scratchin’ Chill Zone) that you can freeze the sorbet mix in a metal bowl, whisking it several times as it freezes. If you try that, let us know how it turns out.
No canned pineapple. That stuff is not good. We guess that many people avoid fresh pineapple because it seems daunting to cut apart. We’ll show you how, and, once you’ve cut up a few, you’ll be an expert pineapple cutter. If we’d thought of it sooner, we might have even tried to pick up a fresh coconut, but we had to settle for the flaked kind. Yes, we know, kind of disappointing, but that means you now have the secret for making an even better version of this sorbet.
Procedure in detail:
Cut off top. The first step in cutting a pineapple into chunks is to cut off the top with the leaves. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife. You can plant this top and grow your own pineapple, if you wish.
Cut off sides. Stand the pineapple on the bottom and work your way around the pineapple, cutting off the outer skin by slicing in a downward motion with your chef’s knife. Don’t worry if some of the eyes aren’t trimmed off; we’ll get to that soon.
Cut off bottom. Turn the pineapple on the side and chop off the bottom. You’re nearly finished. Yay!
Cut out eyes. With the pineapple on its side, work your way around, cutting out the eyes. You can often line up several eyes and cut a ‘V’- shaped notch under them, then just pop off the small strip of pineapple, including the eyes.
Slice and chop. Now, simply slice the pineapple into pieces about 3/4 inch thick, quarter, and cut off the core. Slice each quarter in half and you have perfectly- sized pieces. To keep up your strength, you might need to eat a piece or two of pineapple as you work. We always do.
Juice and strain. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and strain it into your blender. The only reason you need to strain the juice is to eliminate the seeds.
Blend. Add the pineapple to the blender with the lemon juice, and process everything on high. If needed, push down the pineapple pieces and continue blending until smooth. Your blender will determine how long this will take.
Add coconut and sugar and blend. Feel free to taste the pineapple at this point and decide if you want coconut. If so, add it, and blend again until very smooth.
Taste and adjust. Taste the mixture. This is your chance to make it perfect for you, so add more coconut, or sugar, as needed, until it’s perfect. Ours was so good, it was tempting to have a small glass right then and there. We resisted the temptation.
Chill. Transfer the liquid to a medium-sized bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. This will help it freeze in the ice cream churn, plus it’ll allow the flavors to meld. Both good things.
Churn. If you have one, set up your ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, you can try placing the sorbet mix in a metal bowl in the freezer. Then, every 30 minutes, or so, take it out and give it a good whisking to help keep large ice crystals from forming.
Pack and freeze. Once churned, pack into an airtight container and keep in the freezer.
This sorbet had a super pineapple and coconut flavor; however, it froze very solidly — not enough sugar. A quick search on the Internet gave us a nice rule of thumb for making sorbet: add 1/4 cup of sugar for every cup of fruit purée. We’ve modified the recipe above, and will be testing out this rule in the future, so keep watching. Four stars.