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Vegetable centric cooking

Category: Dessert

Apple-nectarine crisp w/ fresh ginger


Fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream is my favorite summer dessert.  The fresh ginger adds nice heat and aroma. You can use many combinations of apples, pears and stone fruit.   It’s a great way to use mediocre or overripe fruit; I was happy to find a use for a big bag of disappointing summer apples I got at the farmer’s market.

Serves 4

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Mango-lemongrass sorbet


Darcy starts the Boston Marathon in about two hours! My all-important job is the roving gummy bear dispenser, starting from halfway at Wellesley. Fanny pack is stuffed with 13.1 miles of provisions — I shall not disappoint.  She was a pretty strict carb loader last week, with minimal dairy.  So I adapted this tasty sorbet from an Epicurious recipe, and it was my first time cooking with lemongrass. Raw, it reminded me of a cross between ginger and a scallion. Cooked, it was wonderfully fragrant.   Although I used less sugar than called for, the sorbet was still too sweet.  But the salt, lime juice and smoked paprika gave it nice balance.

Try to make the lemongrass simple syrup a day early, so it can chill — leave mangoes in fridge too.   Leftover syrup would be great in a cocktail, pretty much whatever kind you like.  I’d vote for a margarita or gin and tonic.  Or maybe a brunch drink with dry prosecco and St Germain.

Serves 2

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Shaved coconut macaroons w/ lime


Passover started tonight, and few things remind me of the holiday like coconut macaroons.  Below recipe is from this month’s Bon Appetit, with a few small changes. We like a macaroon with a browned crispy bottom, so we baked on greased foil instead of parchment paper.  And we halved the lime zest — they are still plenty lime-y. Wide flakes or shavings are worth seeking out — we found them by Let’s Do Organic at a natural foods store, Garden of Eden.  Whereas shredded coconut macaroons tend to be dense and chewy, these are more a light pile of crispy coconut.   You may never eat the spongey Manischewitz variety again!

Makes 4 dozen cookies (Hey, we are giving some away and otherwise hoping they last a week)

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Matcha frozen yogurt w/ cocoa nibs


Darcy made this great frozen yogurt a few days ago for my birthday, adapted from a recipe in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.  It has a light but creamy texture, a deep green color and a pure, intense flavor.   Matcha is powdered high-quality green tea integral to the Japanese tea ceremony.  You can find the real stuff at Asian markets — look for one imported from Japan and labeled matcha, as opposed to green tea powder. There are grades — ceremonial grade is probably unnecessary for making fro-yo. Cocoa nibs are cracked pieces of cocoa bean that have an intensely bitter chocolate taste. Although they are usually made into cocoa liquor as an early step of chocolate production, they are also sold unprocessed – we get them at Whole Foods.

Serves 4 to 6

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Apricot linzer stars


Darcy and I made these last night for our friend Alex’s cookie exchange party — bring a dozen of one variety, take a dozen assorted.  Below recipe is from this month’s Bon Appetit, with a few small changes.  We swapped apricot jam for the original raspberry and skipped the step of boiling jam with water and letting cool — otherwise would have been late for the party! On that note, you can cool dough for less then two hours — an hour in freezer is plenty. Best of all, we skipped the step of rolling cutout stars back into dough. Darcy’s far better idea is to dust the little stars with powdered sugar – no jam – and serve alongside the linzer stars.

Makes 20 jam-filled cookies + bunch of tiny stars for garnish

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Banana ginger ice milk

This is a sweet ice milk with a kick from ginger.   We had it over warm dulce de leche cakes.  It’s also nice with a little sea salt.

Serves 4

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Molten dulce de leche cakes

I made this for my girlfriend’s birthday from a Bon Appetit recipe. Actually the whole dinner was from that article about La Huella, a beachfront restaurant in Uruguay — shrimp a la plancha, ridiculously good broiled provolone, chimichurri and this quick and rich dessert.  Leftover cakes are delicious late at night when you microwave from freezer.

Serves 6

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Pumpkin ice milk

If there is one thing I crave in fall, it’s pumpkin.  And funny, I never crave ice cream when it’s cold out.  But then again we had a warm week, so maybe this is the perfect dessert for Indian summer!

Serves 4

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