Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple. Now, doesn’t that sound simply glorious? And to complement it with velvety and tangy lemon curd, you’ll have a dessert fruit salad worthy for all your entertaining needs!
Why I Love Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple Salad with Lemon Curd
In Asia, we love eating pineapple with all sorts of different condiments. We eat them with salt, chilli, grated salted plums and my favourite of all time, rojak sauce.
A typical rojak sauce is a thick black sauce with a caramel consistency made of chilli and shrimp paste. Check out Sammy’s take on the rojak dish: Green Mango Salad with Grilled Pineapple.
I also really enjoy eating cooked fruit. As far as cooked fruit goes, pineapple is probably the best fruit to put under a cooking process.
Grilling these pineapple wedges with brown sugar gives it the caramelisation it needs to balance the sweet and the sour.
Serve it with dry toasted grated coconut and a velvety lemon curd (sugar-free lemon curd is also available), and you have yourself a fabulous dessert fruit salad.
How to Core a Pineapple
Cutting pineapple is seriously one of the many things I really don’t like doing. It is so much work! So, when I’m lazy and if available, I do tend to buy pineapple all peeled and ready to go.
But let’s start from the beginning. The first step is to lay the pineapple on its side. With a large knife, cut off the top and bottom parts of the pineapple.
Then place it standing on the now flat bottom and cut the skin off from top to bottom.
Now it’s time to cut out the eyes or the prickly brown spots that are hard to eat. You’ll notice that the eyes all perfectly line up in diagonal rows. Remove them by making a small “V” incision along the whole row so you take out a few eyes in one go.
Once that is done, cut the pineapple in half and subsequently into as many wedges as you like.
Lay the wedge flat and cut off the core of the pineapple.
If you want to keep the half intact, you can just cut out the core in a deep V if you prefer.
I will never forget when I was in Bangkok many, many moons ago. I watched a fruit street vendor cut pineapple with a knife large enough to be considered a machete. He held the pineapple in his left hand and the knife in his right hand.
He slashed the top off and peeled it expertly as he juggled the pineapple up and down and turned it round and round with a flick of his wrist and grasps of his fingers. Not once did he put it down on a chopping board.
Every pineapple he peeled and cored were perfect. All the while I was petrified he would inadvertently chop off a finger!
Fun Facts About Pineapple
Here are some fun facts about pineapple:
- A pineapple is not a hybrid cross between a pine tree or an apple. The first recorded use of the word was back in the 17th century due to its resemblances to a pine cone.
- The plant’s Latin name is Ananas comosus. It comes from a South American tribe who spoke the Tupi language whereby nanas means “excellent fruit” and comosus means “tufted”.
- SpongeBob Squarepants lives in a pineapple under the sea. Not sure why, though! LOL!
- It takes 3 years for a pineapple to reach maturation. Say what?
- Pineapples have gorgeous flowers.
- The fruit itself is grown underground while the leaves are grown above ground.
- Once harvested, pineapples don’t continue to ripen. This means that when the pineapple is available for sale, they are as ripe as it can be. Don’t buy a pineapple that doesn’t look so ripe, thinking it will ripe a week later. In fact, you should eat it pretty soon before it goes off. (I so did not know this!)
- Pineapples contain high levels of bromelain, which is great for tenderising meats as it breaks down protein.
- In Australia, we have a Big Pineapple. It is 16 metres or 52 ft high and has been an institution since 1971.
- Pineapple is awesome on pizzas. Think I just committed pizza suicide…
If you think you might like to add pineapple to a salad, here are some pineapple pairings to help you with your creations.
How to Make Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple Salad with Lemon Curd
How to Prepare the Pineapple
If you’re unable to find pre-cut pineapple, cut the top and bottom ends off the pineapple.
Place it standing and cut off the skin from top to bottom. Lay it on its side and cut out V shapes along the diagonal rows of eyes to remove them.
Cut them in half. Cut out 8 thin wedges from the one half. Lay it flat and cut off the core. (Read above for greater detail about how to core a pineapple).
Cover all sides of the pineapple wedges with brown sugar.
Place a grill pan in medium heat and add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Grill each side of the pineapple for 2 minutes each.
How to Prepare the Rest of the Salad
If you have frozen shredded coconut, defrost it. Dry toast ½ cup in a small fry pan for 2 minutes.
Finely chop ¼ of a red chilli.
How to Assemble the Salad
Add 2 tbsp of pre-bought lemon curd at the bottom of the plate, to the side. Using the back of the spoon, smear the lemon curd to the top.
Place ¾ of the toasted shredded coconut to the other side of the plate.
Place the brown sugar grilled pineapple on top of the coconut.
Sprinkle the rest of the shredded coconut, diced chilli and lemon thyme of the dish.
Cooked fruit changes the flavour profile of any fruit, and while some fair better than others, this brown sugar grilled pineapple salad is the perfect example of how good a fruit is when it is put through some heat.
Accompany it with some lemon curd to give you a dessert fruit salad with a difference.
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Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple Salad with Lemon Curd
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- If you’re unable to find pre-cut pineapple, cut the top and bottom ends off the pineapple. Place it standing and cut off the skin from top to bottom. Lay it on its side and cut out V shapes along the diagonal rows of eyes to remove them. Cut them in half. Cut out 8 thin wedges from the one half. Lay it flat and cut off the core. (See the body of this post for greater detail about how to core a pineapple).
- Cover all sides of the pineapple wedges with brown sugar.
- Place a grill pan in medium heat and add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Grill each side of the pineapple for 2 minutes each.
- If you have frozen shredded coconut, defrost it. Dry toast ½ cup in a small fry pan for 2 minutes.
- Finely chop ¼ of a red chilli.
- Add 2 tbsp of pre-bought lemon curd at the bottom of the plate, to the side. Using the back of the spoon, smear the lemon curd to the top.
- Place ¾ of the toasted shredded coconut to the other side of the plate.
- Place the brown sugar grilled pineapple on top of the coconut.
- Sprinkle the rest of the shredded coconut, diced chilli and lemon thyme of the dish.
- You can use regular granulated sugar on the grilled pineapple if that’s your preference. Or you can grill the pineapple, and when you remove from the grill pan, you can dust with icing sugar on both sides. Do it when it’s still warm.
- The chilli pepper gives the whole fruit salad a little lift. You can, of course, omit it or even add more. Just adjust to your liking.
- Sugar-free lemon curd is a thing of which you can find them at the supermarket. Or you can make your own!
- If you’re not able to find frozen shredded coconut, you can use frozen grated coconut. You won’t get the nice, long strands but it will, of course, be the same in flavour.
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