Note: when buying pineapple, look for a yellow rind and a musky, fruity aroma. These are the signs of ripe sweet pineapple.
1 large ripe pineapple
For the glaze:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 pint blackberry or blueberry ice cream or sorbet for serving (optional)
You'll also need: 1 rotisserie; 8 martini glasses (optional)
Cut the rind off the pineapple, leaving the leafy crown intact. I find a serrated knife works best for this. Even after you've removed the rind, you'll notice some diagonal rows of "eyes" (brown spots)-cut these out, making long diagonal V-shaped cuts to give the pineapple a rippled spiral effect.
Make the glaze. Place the butter, brown sugar, rum, cream, lime juice, cinnamon, and salt in a heavy saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until thick and syrupy, 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Set up your grill for spit-roasting and preheat to high.
Using a long slender knife, make starter holes in the crown end and base of the pineapple, pushing the knife lengthwise through the center to facilitate inserting the spit. Working gently but firmly, insert the rotisserie spit through the pineapple. (Be sure to have the first set of prongs on already.) Tighten the prongs. Loosely cover the pineapple leaves with foil. Place the end of the spit in the rotisserie motor socket and turn on the motor.
Spit-roast the pineapple until golden brown and tender, about 1 hour, basting with glaze every 15 minutes. You should have about half the glaze leftover for serving.
To serve, unspit the pineapple and unwrap the leaves. Show it off whole-talk about way cool. Then cut it crosswise into slices for serving. Drizzle each slice with leftover glaze.
For the ultimate gilding of the lily, cut the pineapple slices in quarters and serve over blackberry ice cream in martini glasses. Spoon the glaze on top and garnish each glass with a pineapple leaf.
* Created by Steven Raichlen at Barbecue University.