Grilled Pineapple Mojito Sorbet
There are MANY dining establishments I will miss after I officially move out of Philadelphia on Thursday. My go-to food trucks that have been there for years will suddenly no longer be up the street, and my favorite places downtown will now be down in a different town. Also, did I mention that they are FINALLY opening a Chipotle down the block from my old place? I knew they’d try to pull that stunt AFTER I left… Now, I know that I’m much better off in my New York neighborhood (it’s really unbeatably awesome) and it’ll be super easy to become a regular at new and interesting places. However, one Philly location will be truly difficult to replace, and that is a magical place called Cuba Libre.
At this magical place called Cuba Libre, there exists a wondrous invention known as “All You Can Eat Brunch,” where you eat cornmeal pancakes with mango butter, vanilla custard french toast with plantains, crab cakes benedict, and then some. A LOT of some. I have frequented CL’s brunch several times, and left each time without a drop of shame. Not even that one time, when I had to excuse myself mid-meal to go partially unzip the back of the dress I was wearing. I mean, you couldn’t tell, because I was wearing a cardigan. I also then continued to eat, against all better judgment. But yup, not even that time.
There was another visit to Cuba Libre though, that I recall may have been a bit classier. That time, I also happened to order a grilled pineapple mojito. Clearly, that visit ended better for me because I was well hydrated… With rum. Right? No? That’s not how that works?
Anyway, while I was in Houston and looking for recipes to add to my queue, I thought of this. An homage to the great Cuba Libre grilled pineapple mojito, in sorbet form. Coincidentally, right after I returned from Texas, I learned that the Recipe Redux theme for July would be cooking with liquor. Uhh, PERFECT. I briefly thought about doing a beer braised meat dish, or maybe a pulled pork sandwich with a boozy barbecue sauce. Which I might still do, because that’s making my mouth water right now. But as my mind kept wandering back to that perfect mojito, I just couldn’t bear to part with my original idea.
So, here we are. I told you that I would be finding more ways to incorporate grilled fruit into my posts this summer, and I always keep my promises. My recipe includes just enough rum to give the recipe “punch,” but not enough to make you silly (or overpower the delicious, fresh flavors). But, if you’re looking to get a little silly at your next BBQ, you can add another ounce or two (or three) of rum, and make this palate cleanser just a bit boozier. But, whatever you do, don’t skip grilling the pineapple. The fruit’s own juices will caramelize without any added sugar, making the fruit super sweet. So worth it.
- 2 pineapples
- 2 cups plain sparkling water
- 4 oz. silver rum
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2/3 cup mint leaves (about 4 tbs. very finely chopped)
- Honey to taste (~3-4 tbs, optional)
- Slice the pineapple. Begin by slicing off the leaves and the bottom of the fruit. Remove all skin and hard brown bits with a knife.
- When left only with yellow flesh, cut vertically around the core to create four pieces. Cut close to the core (but not into it) to get as much flesh as possible.
- Slice the four pieces into thick spears, and continue with the next pineapple.
- Place all spears on a medium-low heat grill, and keep the spears on each side for about 4-5 minutes, or until grill marks form.
- Transfer grilled spears to a blender. Let cool, then purée until smooth.
- Transfer the purée to a large mixing bowl and chill until colder than room temperature.
- Add sparkling water, rum, lime juice, chopped mint, and honey. Stir lightly to combine.
- Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and follow directions.