Here's how to make chef Ludo Lefebvre's stunning summer treat.

By Bridget Hallinan
May 30, 2020
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Grilled fruit is one of summer’s simple pleasures, and chef Ludo Lefebvre takes it pretty seriously. He likes to grill a whole pineapple and pair it with caramel sauce—not just any caramel sauce, but a spicy version flavored with jalapeño, ginger, vanilla beans, and bananas.

In this video, Lefebvre walks us through making the indulgent dessert, providing helpful advice along the way. As he grills, Lefebvre, a Lexus Culinary Master, expresses gratitude that Lexus gave him funds to re-open his restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic.

Below, find some of Lefebvre’s key tips for making this summer treat.

Start with the Sauce

As he goes through the ingredients, Lefebvre notes that you can use a red jalapeño if you can’t find a green one, and says that it’s OK if you can’t find ripe bananas, either (although it will be better for the flavor if you can get them). Prep the bananas, jalapeño, ginger, and vanilla beans beforehand so that you can add them to the caramel right away.

Grab the Butter

Caramel can be made with water and sugar, but Lefebvre uses butter and sugar. (Make sure you melt the butter slowly so you don’t give it any coloration yet.) After you add in the sugar, you want it to reach a golden-brown coloration—and take your time. It’s better to be on medium heat than too high, he notes, where you can risk burning the caramel.

Be Careful When You Deglaze

After he adds the rest of the ingredients, Lefebvre deglazes the pot with water. It can be dangerous, so add it slowly.

Use the Peler à Vif Technique

To cut the pineapple, Lefebvre uses the peler à vif technique and slices off the skin by following the shape of the fruit. Don’t cut too deep—you don’t want to take off too much of the meat.

Prep and Grill the Pineapple

To prevent the pineapple greens from burning, wrap them in aluminum foil, and poke some holes in the fruit to put in the vanilla bean pieces. Spray the pineapple with extra-virgin olive oil, too. You want it to char, but not burn. Sear it first, and then cook it slowly.

Plate It

Slice the pineapple, put it on a plate, and spoon over the hot caramel sauce. All that’s left to do is add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.