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Pyrotechnic pineapple

Burning alcohol intensifies the inherent flavours of whatever is in the pan. It’s easier than it looks to flambé like a professional chef. And nothing demonstrates your prowess in the kitchen or ignites a passionate end to a romantic dinner like controlling a four-alarm blaze in a sizzling pan of perfectly caramelized pineapple with confidence.



  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier, Cointreau or dark rum
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt


  1. Set the pineapple on its side, and slice it in half vertically through the leafy section (see illustration). Chisel out the core of each half and discard. Then cut around the fleshy sections with a knife (as you would a grapefruit). Remove flesh with a spoon and cut into small chunks. Reserve flesh and exterior shells.
  2. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pineapple chunks, but none of the juice, and stir occasionally for approximately five minutes, or it begins to brown.
  3. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the pineapple and stir for one minute, or until it has dissolved. Repeat the process, a tablespoon at a time, with the remaining sugar. Cook until pineapple and sugar are nicely browned.
  4. Pour in Grand Marnier, let it heat up for five to 10 seconds, then ignite. The flames should jump about two feet high, then burn out after about ten seconds (along with most of the alcoholic content).
  5. Place a single scoop of ice cream in each of the hollowed-out pineapple shells and pour half the contents of the pan overtop each. Serve immediately with two spoons per couple. Enjoy! 

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