Monday, March 24, 2008

TGRWT #10: Pineapple and Blue Cheese

TGRWT (They Go Really Well Together) is a monthly-or-so foodblogging event created by that pairs unusual ingredients together. This is the tenth round and is hosted by David Barzelay at Eat Foo(d). See the roundup here.

For an in-depth discussion of the molecular gastronomy of this pairing, see this very well-written article.

I have always loved fruit and cheese together, so it comes as no surprise that this pairing intrigued me from the start.

I decided on a pineapple curd topped with crumbly gorgonzola served in tiny prosciutto cups.

What a delight! The pineapple curd was smooth and sweet (and something I was able to make using a sugar substitute to accommodate my dietary restrictions), the crumbly gorgonzola was salty and pungent, and the prosciutto cups provided a hammy, wonderfully crunchy base. It was an explosion of flavor that made my whole mouth sing.

Well, not actually sing, because my mouth was full, but you get the idea.

I served these as an appetizer before Easter dinner and they were well received by my guests. It's best to make these very small--two-bite sized or less--because they are a bit on the messy side. If you don't want to bother with the prosciutto cups, the pineapple curd can be served simply dolloped on spoons, topped with a few blue cheese crumbles.

A little goes a long way here--these are big flavors.

Pineapple Curd with Crumbly Gorgonzola in Prosciutto Cups

Pineapple Curd
inspired by
this recipe
makes about 2-1/2 cups

1 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup sugar or substitute (I used Whey Low Granular Type D)
4 large eggs
1-3/4 sticks butter, cut into chunks

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together juice, sugar and eggs. Place over a medium-low flame and add butter all at once. Whisk constantly until butter melts, then reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk. (This took me about 45 minutes, so be prepared!)

Immediately pour curd through a fine wire mesh into a bowl then chill, covered with cling wrap.

Prosciutto Cups

Carefully drape thinly-sliced prosciutto over the backs of mini-muffin tins set upside-down in a larger, rimmed sheet pan (so that any grease can drain away). If the prosciutto breaks, just layer another piece over. (I used 2 layers.) Place in 200*F oven until crispy--about 30-45 minutes. Cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container. (I held them only overnight, so I'm not sure how long they will keep.)

To Assemble

Pipe curd into cups and top with crumbly gorgonzola. Enjoy!


Mary said...

Wow these look fantastic! Super elegant! I am a giant fan of blue cheese and I've heard it is terrific with fruit.

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Mary. They turned out better than I expected.

I've always loved blue cheese, and often toss it into salads with chopped apple and craisins, but the pineapple was unexpectedly delicious! Try canned chunks in salad with crumbled blue--REALLY good!

Gloria said...

Love cheese and love this, so yummy!!! Gloria

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Gloria--it was so good I polished off the pineapple curd last night. Even the cat was begging for some!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Those look fabulous-as in Food Network quality fabulous. Yum!

Mrs. W said...

Wow. That's a huge compliment. Thank you, Jenn.

These were actually very frugal to make--it took about 1/8 lb prosciutto ($1 worth), the entire container of pineapple juice was under $2 and I only used 1 cup, and the blue cheese was very inexpensive--I used less than $1 worth for the 6 appetizers. Probably the most expensive component was the butter (and that I splurged on organic free-range eggs).

Marie said...

Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my page regarding the risotto! I really appreciate it. I think your little tarts look fabulous! I am a real fan of blue cheese and this combination sounds truly delicious. I think I shall give these a try the next time I have to do a dinner party up at the big house!

Mrs. W said...

Well deserved, Marie. And I hope you'll let me know if you do try these tartlets and how you like them!

Barzelay said...

They look great. Is it alright if I include your post in a roundup of all the entries?

By the way, next time, instead of cooking the curd on low (and it taking 45 minutes), just turn up the heat to medium, or even medium-high. It should take less than five minutes for the temperature to come up to about 178 Fahrenheit, which is the temperature at which the curd will set. As long as you're whisking constantly, the increased heat will be fine.

Mrs. W said...

David--absolutely! Please do include me!

Thank you for your improved curd-making instructions... less whisking would make me a happy cook!

chriesi said...

These look great!

Mrs. W said...

Thank you, chriesi!

Dennis said...

Great looking appetizer. I was wondering what type of prosciutto you used? Parma or San Daniele?

Mrs. W said...

Hi, Dennis. Unfortunately the nearest good Italian deli to obtain the imported meats (like Parma and San Daniele) is an hour's drive away, so for my regular cooking escapades, I have to make do with what is available locally. The prosciutto that is available in my deli is US-produced, very salty and contains nitrites. Not really what I'd like, but there you have it.

Dennis said...

I'm curious if your dish would go well with the sweeter San Daniele prosciutto. Will give it a try sometime.

I understand you don't use imported meats all the time. I often use local products too. Not only are they are more easily to obtain, but also a lot cheaper.

Mrs. W said...

I'm sure you're right, Dennis. I've actually never *tried* the good stuff! Every time I go to the specialty italian shop in Syracuse the italian deli is closed. :(

The local prosciutto made a REALLY salty little cup. I served the curd & cheese crumbles a 2nd time from spoons, and it was better, although I did miss that hammy snap. Perhaps some minced cooked prosciutto (like little italian bacon bits) sprinkled on top is the answer. When using this local stuff, anyway.

Alanna @ Kitchen Parade said...

I love-love-love this idea! The idea of using lemon (pineapple, in your case) curd in a 'savory' way, wow.

Amanda said...

Thanks, Alanna. It was surprisingly good with the blue cheese. I hope you'll give it a try!

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