The wonderful Dishoom restaurant in London used to have pineapple and black pepper crumble on its dessert menu, which inspired my version many years ago. I was recently devastated to discover that it is no longer on the menu, which makes this recipe even more important: if you haven’t yet tried the heady combination of tangy, buttery pineapple buried beneath a lightly spiced, crunchy crumble, you now can address this significant gap in your gastronomic life. Enjoy cold, cold ice cream and perhaps a cup of chai.
For the crumble
200g plain flour
120g cold butter, cubed
90g demerara sugar
seeds of 8 cardamom pods, finely ground
70g desiccated coconut
40g sunflower seeds
40g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cold water or milk
For the filling
2 pineapples, peeled, cored and flesh cut into 2.5cm chunks
3 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
finely grated zest of 1 lime
How Cook It
First, prepare the crumble. Using your fingertips, rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, cardamom, coconut, sunflower seeds, and pistachio nuts, and mix well. Add the water or milk and mix gently so the mixture turns ‘pebbly’. Refrigerate while you prepare the fruit.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5.
For the filling, heat the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the pineapple and cook, stirring frequently, for 5–10 minutes, until the fruit starts to turn golden and loses some of its juice. Then, lower the heat slightly, add the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the pineapple is caramelized. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan – if the pineapple is too crowded, it will steam rather than caramelize. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, ginger, pepper, vanilla, and lime zest.
Tip the fruit into a medium baking dish and top it evenly with the crumble mixture. Bake the crumble for 35 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble is crunchy and golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.