All too thrilled, until now, to finally getting a sous vide set up at home, I constantly think of challenges to throw into it, stretching out its possible wonders in my kitchen. I try to use it out of the popular poached-and-post-seared-meat territory and fair enough, it's meant to do way more than that.
We're going for fruit this time – pineapples. That freshly sweet and tangy taste of pineapples would certainly work well with many flavor combos.
Almost any fruit with sturdy structure would work well here. Poached pears, apples, peaches, bananas. . . they've all been done and with countless spice and flavor additions.
Let's begin. Get your pineapples neatly peeled, cored, and cut into serving wedges. It would, of course be ideal to work with fully ripened pineapples, but this recipe would equally work well with slightly under-ripe ones. The sugar we're adding into the flavor mix will sweeten those pineapples to another level.
Actually, this may be the thing to do if you have some under-ripe pineapples around. Reinforce the flavors with some flavored sugar and no one will know. They'll really end up tasting naturally sweet.
We're building a flavor base next. Get your mortar and pestle out and muddle those fresh mint leaves with some salt, sugar, and black peppercorns. It's basically a dry rub, or perhaps a pesto we're making.
This is the time to get creative. Salt and sugar would be the only staples here, leaving the mint and black pepper up for modification. How about basil and chili? Cinnamon and ginger, juniper berries and orange peel, lemongrass and vodka. . . feel free to experiment. Think of an inspiration for your flavors. Mint, salt, sugar, and pineapples? Yes, this recipe was inspired by the classic mojito.
Rub this flavor blend all over the prepared pineapples before getting them in the bag to make sure they're evenly coated.
Now they're ready to hit the sous vide bath. Try to get them in a single layer inside your bag so they'll poach and get flavored evenly.
I cooked my pineapples with my immersion circulator for an hour at 170F and they came out softened up but still firm. Cooking time will of course change depending on the texture you're trying to achieve and the state of ripeness of the fruit your working with.
They'll come out sweet, tender, and really aromatic out of the bag. Serve it your way from here – chilled, with some ice cream, over yogurt, sliced over a pound cake. . . it'll work as a good topping to most of your favorite desserts.
To caramelize them even more, brulee! Sprinkle on some brown sugar and hit it with your kitchen torch.