I) I don’t really do pastry much. That is not to say I don’t like pastry, or that I don’t enjoy making them. What it really says is that I prefer cooking to baking. Maybe out of laziness, or absentmindedness, or good old fashioned inexperience, I generally avoid sweet things. But once in a while I do want to make dessert. And rather than deal with all that pesky weighing and measuring, I make flambé fruit with ice cream. But that can get boring after the first few times. Hence the idea of a miso caramel. Soybeans are in the same family as the peanut, so it makes sense on that level. This sauce has a salty-sweet thing going for it. Normally you caramelize white sugar to make the sauce, but a good shortcut that is used in fancy restaurants in brown sugar which already has the nuttiness of caramelized sugar without any of the waiting.
II) Flambé Pineapples with Miso-Caramel Sauce
· Half a pineapple, sliced
· 1/3 cup brown sugar
· 3 tablespoons butter
· 1.5 tablespoons miso
· Couple splashes of brandy (or rum, or any hard booze)
· Vanilla ice cream for serving
1) Melt butter in a pan over medium and dissolve miso in it. Add brown sugar and melt. Add pineapple and sauté for a few minutes.
2) Remove pan from heat, and add brandy. Light brandy careful not to burn the house down. Flambé until alcohol is cooked off (this part isn’t necessary, but looks pretty damn cool.)
3) Place the pan back on the heat for a couple minutes to thicken the sauce. Spoon into bowls with ice cream and serve immediately. Serves 4
III) Results and Discussion
I learned a lot about tasting while I was making this. Rather I learned to taste constantly. The dish came out okay. The pineapples were sour. I didn’t even think to try the pineapple before I cooked it, if I did I would have realized how unripe they were. I would have compensated by adding more sugar. But that little mistake, not taking a bite of the fruit, caused the whole dish to be out of balance, to just taste okay.
Miso idea inspired by Miso Butterscotch recipe in Momofuku
Chang, David, and Peter Meehan. Momofuku. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2009. Print