Smoked Pineapple Cream with Meringue
Being able to utilize the smoker in multiple different ways can really add some unique tastes to your food. Desserts are one of those dishes that can benefit from this technique. When I smoke desserts, I like to make sure I don’t overdo the smoke, I want to be sure to get a good clean smoke and use just a little bit of wood.
This dessert is fairly easy if you know the techniques to make the components. All the smoking and assembly is straight forward, but making the components does require correct techniques to make sure they are exactly what you are looking for. The most important thing here is the pastry cream. I like to make my own so that I can get exactly the flavor I am looking for, but for time purposes feel free to just buy some at your local grocery store. This would basically be the instant pudding or cream pie filling you would find on the pastry isle in the store. The recipe at the bottom of the page is developed with the instant pudding or cream pie filling in mind. I didn’t put the pastry cream instructions in to make the recipe easier, but if you want to make the cream fill free too and you can find any basic pastry cream recipe on the internet. The next few paragraphs will show you some of the techniques I use when making my pastry cream.
When making the cream I want to make sure I whisk this well to keep the lumps out of the cream. The most important part of the entire process of making pastry cream is to temper the eggs. I like to heat my milk and slowly pour into the bowl with the eggs whisking the entire time. After all the milk is incorporated then add back to the pot and lower heat. Be sure to keep a steady whisk going so that the cream doesn’t form a skin on top. If you don’t continue to whisk and the skin forms and then you stir it in you will get clumps that aren’t very appetizing.
As the cream comes together you are going to want to look for consistency. Be sure not to over cook the cream attempting to get it thick as you need because when the cream is hot it is going to be much thinner than when it is cool. You are just looking for sauce consistency here, so coat the back of a spoon and run your finger down the back, if the cream doesn’t come back together, then its ready to come off the heat and start cooling.
Now you are going to want to cool the cream, so take it off the burner and set it over to the side. Be sure to stir it about once a minute to keep the skin from forming. Once the pot has cooled about 15 to 20 minutes, take a sheet of plastic wrap, and place it directly on top of the cream while still in the pot. You are going to want to make sure it covers the entire top of the cream with no air pockets. This will keep a skin from forming on the cream while it cools, as air is what makes the skin form. Now place the cream in the fridge and let it cool another 20 minutes. The cream will thicken up as it cools.
Now that the cream has cooled it’s time to get everything else ready. When using the pineapple there are two ways to go about this. I like to just buy a pineapple and cut it up into slices and make some chunks, but there is a much easier way where you buy a can of slices and a can of chunks. If you buy the actual pineapple and cut it up, this will be a much tastier option, but to save a little money and time feel free to just buy the cans.
Next, I want to get everything assembled, but first it want to set the smoker to 350 with some apple wood. Now I take one of the slices of pineapple and place on the bottom of each small iron skillet then dust it with the tbsp. of cinnamon sugar. Then fill the skillet to the top with the pastry cream and top with the chunks of pineapple.
Now it is time for the meringue. If you don’t make meringue a lot it can be a very intimidating task, but as long as you are patient and let the equipment do its work you will be fine. Just be sure to not over mix the meringue so that it doesn’t lose it’s fluffy peaks. As the meringue is in the mixer, I am going to set the coconut on a tray and add it into the smoker for about 5 minutes to get it good and toasted. Make sure you keep an eye on the coconut as it can burn quickly.
After the meringue is made top the skillet with the meringue and place on the smoker. Let sit until you see some browning on top of the meringue. This should take probably 10 to 15 minutes. Pull each skillet from the smoker and top with the toasted coconut and serve!
Smoked Pineapple Cream with Meringue
- 1 Pineapple cut in 6 slices & rest in chunks
- 1 1/2 cups Pineapple Chunks
- 2 cups Pastry Cream (Instant Pudding/Cream Pie Filling)
- 6 tbsp Cinnamon Sugar
- 3 cups Meringue
- 1/2 cup Coconut Smoked & Toasted
- Set smoker to 350° degrees with Applewood
- Take your small cast iron skillet and place 1 slice of pineapple into each pan
- Dust each pineapple slice and the bottom of the pan with the cinnamon sugar
- Now fill each skillet with the pastry cream up to the rim of the skillet
- Add a ¼ cup of the pineapple chunks on top ofthe pastry cream
- Place the coconut on a sheet tray and spreadout, place in the smoker, should toast in about 7 minutes
- Top each skillet with the meringue and place on the smoker to cook, about 7 to 10 minutes
- Remove the skillets with the toasted meringue and top with the toasted coconut