Tahitian Vanilla–Roasted Pineapple

Natalie Wilkinson

Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa - Maui, HI

Maui-based pastry chef Natalie Wilkinson has the abundance of Hawaii at her disposal, such as extra sweet Maui Gold pineapples and Okolehao, a local Hawaiian rum. But mainland dwellers without access to those ingredients can still enjoy this fun dessert.  The pineapple is a great accompaniment to cake or ice cream, and is also delicious served with savory dishes like pulled pork.


  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 whole ripe pineapple, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tablespoon hibiscus flower extract (optional)


Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the pineapple until it just begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, until the pineapple is just tender.

Add the rum. Using a long match in a well-ventilated area, ignite the pineapple and let the flame burn until it disappears (which indicates the alcohol has burned off).

Once the flames have subsided, add the vanilla bean pod and seeds. Let the pineapple simmer over medium heat until it is very tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

The pineapple may be served warm, or you can let it cool to room temperature. If using the hibiscus extract, add it when the pineapple has cooled.


4 to 6 servings