Am I the only one that had never heard of a pineapple float before? I mean, I do happen to live in the vast wasteland of the midwest where nothing much is happening right now except for wind and snow. So I don’t blame you if you are thinking, “Man, she needs to get out more – pineapple floats are, like, so last summer.” But honestly, my only recollections of any kind of drinkable float are of the root beer variety, so when I saw this recipe title in a cookbook, it peaked my interest big time.
After making it and devouring it, all I can say is: a float by any other name shall not taste as sweet as this. It was downright incredible. Now if you have moved beyond thinking I need to get out more and are now wondering why on earth I am making an ice cream drink in the middle of winter…well, all I can say is that denial is the best form of medicine for surviving winter (that, and screaming in a pillow, of course). And I have a feeling this drink will be making an appearance year-round from now on.
Made with either fresh or canned pineapple (I highly recommend fresh if you can find it at a reasonable price – fresh pineapples have been dirt cheap in my snowy neck of the woods lately!), this icy concoction requires some prep work but the glazed pineapple and syrup can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated.
Roasted pineapple, oh yum!, is topped with rich vanilla ice cream, topped again by a deliriously delicious pineapple syrup and smothered in icy cold club soda. Honestly, this desserty drink was so refreshing and glorious that I’ve requested it for my birthday “cake.” Not sure how the candles will work out, but who cares…it’s all about the pineapple float. Promise me you’ll make this soon. It’s the only way we can be friends.
P.S. Nervous about cutting up a fresh pineapple? Click here for the how-to on getting the job done.
Note: In place of the fresh pineapple, you can drain two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple, roast it, and skip making the syrup.
- 1 pineapple (about 4 pounds), top trimmed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream
- 1 liter club soda, chilled
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the pineapple using a sharp knife, reserving the peels and core as you work. Go here for a tutorial on cutting up a pineapple. Cut the pineapple flesh into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer the peels and the core pieces to a large pot; reserving the cubed pineapple flesh.
- Add 5 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Cook for about 30 minutes, mashing the peels occasionally with the back of a spoon or a potato masher to extract the juice. You won’t actually see the pineapple peels “give” at all – but mashing still helps to release the juice.
- Transfer the cubed pineapple to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the pineapple with the brown sugar. Cook until just golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days (or use immediately once cooled).
- Pour the pineapple peel mixture from the pot through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup about 10-12 minutes. Refrigerate the syrup, covered, until it is ready to serve, up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, divide the pineapple evenly among the 8 serving glasses. Top with 2 teaspoons syrup and 2 scoops of ice cream. Fill with club soda. Drizzle with remaining syrup and serve. I garnished the glasses with a few chunks of pineapple skewered on a wood stick.
Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart