Stewed Fruit, Flambee, Jamaican-style
I’d been dreaming about this ever since tasting it the first time in Jamaica. We went back to the same restaurant just for dessert, and then again the next year. But getting the recipe figured out was trickier. Each time I’d ask they would smile and mention an ingredient or two, but you’d never get the whole story. Found another place with a similar dish and managed to wheedle out a few more ingredients. With a little more experimenting I’ve got something here that works. Enjoy!
Fresh fruit – pineapple, bananas, grapes. (white grapes may keep the dish from getting pink, not sure) Other fruits probably also fine, chef’s choice. (See Quantity note below)
8 oz (1 stick) Butter (salted is fine, I like Kerrygold)
4 oz Lemon Juice
8 oz Mango Juice/puree (pure, unsweetened)
8 oz Pineapple Juice (pure, unsweetened)
6 tablespoons Sugar or to taste
6 oz Spiced Rum (3 oz while cooking, 3 oz reserved for flambee at serving) I like Bacardi Oak Barrel Spiced Rum but any will do. Less a fan of Captain Morgan.
2 oz Apricot Brandy (Hiram Walker sells one in the US, but a Jamaican brand is preferred)
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream or other cream of your choice.
Quantity Note: I used approx. 4 lbs of sliced pineapple, 5 bananas and 2-1/2 cups of grapes for this recipe, but make adjustments for your desired size – there is no specific right answer but the dominant fruit should be pineapple. Makes approx. 20 servings, store extra in refrigerator, reheats easily in microwave.
Preparation: Cut pineapple into small slices/chunks 1” or less. Cut grapes in half. Bananas in disk/cross-section slices.
Pan-fry the fruit in butter on the stovetop as follows:
Half the butter for the bananas first, half for the pineapple/grapes.
It’s easy to caramelize the bananas – 6-10 minutes per side on medium heat until golden brown, and then set them aside. The pineapple won’t caramelize as easily but try to get a little brown on it if possible- mostly you’re trying to get it heated/sautéed in the butter and get some of the juice out. Takes 10-15 minutes on high heat, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
After about 10 minutes cooking the pineapple/grapes, lower heat to medium, add in the bananas and pour/stir in the remaining ingredients. Stir occasionally and ensure it doesn’t burn. After five more minutes of cooking, transfer everything to a large stew pot and cook an additional 30 minutes at low heat, covered, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn. Allow to cool uncovered or with lid set askew so it doesn’t get soggy.
Reheat or serve warm, flambee, with vanilla ice cream, whipping cream or other of your choice.
Pre-heat rum in microwave in glass or ceramic bowl or pyrex pitcher for 1 minute.
Remove and place in metal pitcher (or leave it in pyrex pitcher).
Wear oven glove, light the rum in the pitcher with long neck lighter.
Pour slowly into dish so the rum stays lit as it flows out of pitcher into the dish.
When rum stops burning it’s ready to serve!