Friday, January 25, 2013

Pineapple Coconut Pudding Cakes

I think I'm finally getting the hang of 2013.  For some reason, it always takes me a while to get used to the new year.  I guess the nature of Janus, the ancient mythological Roman god of beginnings and transitions and the basis for the name of the month of January, has a particular effect on me.  Like the image of Janus with his face simultaneously pointed in two directions, it's both a time to look back over the year past and then ahead to what might come.  But as we move along into February, we know for certain we can anticipate lots of chocolate and hopefully the appearance of supremely delicious blood oranges.

There's something about fresh pineapple that is especially welcome during the winter months.  I love the bracing acidity and tartness and the beaming bright shock of yellow.  This dessert ties all these threads together in a pudding cake, which is the kind of dessert that separates into a layer of cake and a little layer of sauce at the bottom.  Coconut and lemon also tag along for more texture and taste, a slight nod to the tropics. I saute the pineapple in a little bit of butter to caramelize and expand the flavor.  Otherwise, it's a pretty simple process to produce and it's good served warm or at room temperature.

Bench notes:
- If your pineapple is super tart, sprinkle lightly with sugar as you saute in butter.
- For the bain marie, I used two smaller roasting pans instead of one large one, which makes it much easier to manage when removing from the oven.
- The water for the bain marie should be hot.  If your tap water isn't hot enough, when you begin your preparation for this dessert, bring a pot of water to a simmer, take off the heat, cover and set aside until you're ready to bake.
- I think this would also be good with fresh berries in the bottom of the ramekin in place of the sauteed pineapple.

Pineapple Coconut Pudding Cakes
Serves 6

1 C fresh pineapple
1/4 oz (1/2 T) butter

3/4 C sugar, divided
1/3 C flour
1/4 t salt
1 C milk
1/3 C sweetened shredded coconut
5 T lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs, separated
2 oz (4 T) butter, melted

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease six 6-oz ramekins.

Chop the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and place in a pan with the butter.   Saute over medium heat for about 5 - 7 minutes or until the fruit begins to caramelize.  Distribute the pineapple equally among the six ramekins.

Whisk all but 2 tablespoons of sugar with the flour and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the milk, coconut, lemon juice, zest and egg yolks until thoroughly combined.  Blend in the melted butter.  Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.  The batter will be very thin and may look slightly curdled.

Beat the egg whites with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut lemon mixture one-third at a time.  Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and place them in a large roasting pan or two smaller roasting pans.  Pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the pudding cakes for about 25 minutes or until they are puffed up but firm to the touch and slightly golden on top.  Carefully remove from oven and transfer ramekins to a wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.


Elly McCausland said...

These are a fabulous idea! I love all your pineapple recipes, they really inspire me to cook more with pineapple as it can be so delicious when warmed with some butter.

pastry studio said...

Hello, Elly! Every time I eat pineapple I wonder why I don't eat it more often. It's so delicious.

Hope you're having a grand New Year!

Barbara said...

Great combo! Totally agree about pineapple. My dad made a great pineapple sherbet, but we don't use that fruit nearly enough.
(Pleased you're on Pinterest now...have followed you.)

Kate said...

I've seen the lemon and the chocolate versions of pudding cake; but, your tropical variation sounds wonderful. The 3 flavor combination sounds like a dessert "cocktail" :)
The individual servings you present always make me feel I am at an elegant restaurant or special dinner party.
Thank you for another delightful post.

pastry studio said...

Thank you, Barbara, Love your Pinterest boards. I could get lost for hours at that site!

Kate, you are always invited to my table!

Luv'n Spoonfuls said...

I can't believe how delicious this looks and sounds. I'm afraid I would probably down all of the little servings if left alone too long! ;-)

pastry studio said...

Oh dear, shall we call for reinforcements? Nah, I'm sure in reality we are all well-behaved. Heh. said...

Wow these look delish! Putting on my "to do" list!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! Yum!! I just found your blog this afternoon through pinterest searching pineapple puddings.... Made them tonight... Verdict = DELICIOUS!!

pastry studio said...

YAY for delicious! I love pineapple and I think this is a good way to enjoy it.