Confit of Pineapple with Tellicherry Black Peppercorns
2 vanilla beans
4 cups granulated sugar
1 pineapple –peeled, quartered lengthwise, core removed
1/4 cup fumee de sel (sea salt)
1 quart water
3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar –plus
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
Freshly-ground Tellicherry black pepper
Vanilla ice cream –for serving
To make vanilla sugar, split the vanilla beans lengthwise and mix with the granulated sugar. Using your fingers, rub the beans with the sugar to dislodge the small particles. Set aside.
To make the Comfit: Place about 2 tablespoons of the Vanilla Sugar in the bottom of a container large enough to hold the pineapple in a single layer. Lay the pineapple wedges in the container and sprinkle them with the fumee de sel. Cover them with the remaining Vanilla Sugar and let marinate for 4 hours.
Remove the pineapple from the marinade and brush off excess. Put the pineapple in a pot (large enough to hold the wedges in a single layer) and cover with the water. Add the granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to barely a simmer and cook over very low heat until the pineapple is deep golden, about 4 hours. Cool the pineapple in the liquid overnight.
Remove the pineapple and place on a rack; let dry for 1 hour. Sprinkle the wedges with the superfine sugar and place the pineapple beneath the broiler, 6 inches from the heat, until the sugar caramelizes and the top of the pineapple is dark golden brown, about 8 minutes. Watch the wedges so they don’t burn.
Cut each pineapple wedge into 6 triangles and fan the slices on the bottom of a serving bowl. Sprinkle with finely ground Tellicherry pepper, and top each slice with 2 to 3 tablespoons of ice cream.