Cook with Jacques and Friends

Fruit for dessert has always been a favorite, and the caramelization of the pineapple combined with passion fruit reminds me of my home in Australia. Served with a scoop of ice cream, this is an easy, but restaurant-worthy dessert! The pineapple is drizzled with an easy caramel made from sugar and coconut cream. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and used to sweeten up everything from breakfast pancakes to that midnight snack scoop of ice cream.

Grilled Pineapple with Tropical Caramel Sauce and Passion Fruit

If using bamboo skewers, soak them in a tray of water for 20 minutes before using.

When you open a can of coconut milk it often has separated into the cream at the top and the liquid coconut water below. I like to use the thick cream in this recipe.


  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into sixteen to twenty 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower, grapeseed or another light vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut cream, see note
  • ⅔ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • 2 passion fruit
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream, optional


  1. Thread 4 or 5 pieces of pineapple onto 4 metal skewers; trim any edges so that they line up and lay flat in the pan or on the grill.
  2. Preheat a heavy grill pan over medium-high heat or one area of an outdoor grill to medium-high. Once hot, brush the pan or grill grates lightly with oil. Grill the pineapple skewers until they are golden brown and lightly charred on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  3. In a light colored, medium-sized heavy saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it dissolves and begins to turn golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the sugar. Do not stir at this point. Once the sugar has melted completely and there are no clumps of sugar (I like to call them icebergs) remaining, continue to cook the sugar until it is a rich golden to dark brown. Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the coconut cream – the mixture will bubble vigorously, so be careful. Return to medium heat and stir gently until the caramel melts and the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Pour into a serving bowl or a jar with a tightly fitting lid.
  4. The caramel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and gently warmed before using.
  5. Transfer the pineapple skewers to a platter or 4 dessert plates. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Cut each passion fruit in half and spoon the juices, pulp and seeds over the pineapple before drizzling with the caramel sauce. Serve immediately with the vanilla ice cream if using.

Making caramel in a saucepan with a light color interior makes it easier to judge the color of the caramel. In a saucepan with a black interior, it is difficult to see the subtle changes as it cooks from gold to brown.

In the Know

2021 JPF grant recipient New England Culinary Arts Training (NECAT), offers a Re-Entry Culinary Job Training Program for incarcerated individuals just prior to their release, helping set those individuals up for a smoother, more stable re-entry into the community. Like all NECAT training programs, the Re-Entry Program provides the technical, professional, and life skills necessary to secure career-ladder jobs in the culinary industry.