For the Coconut-Almond Crust:
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
For the Spicy Pineapple Compote:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium pineapple, cut into small cubes
1 quart vanilla-bean ice cream, for 6 1/2 cup servings


1. Make the Coconut-Almond Crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread coconut on 1 baking sheet and sliced almonds on another. Bake coconut for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, and almonds for 3 to 5 minutes longer, tossing occasionally, until both are golden brown. Set both aside and cool.
2. Make the compote: In medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, honey and juice of 1/2 lemon. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until sauce starts to darken, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in cayenne pepper and pineapple chunks and cook, stirring occasionally, until pineapple is just heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
4. In medium, shallow bowl, toss toasted coconut and almonds to combine. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop perfectly round balls of ice cream into mixture and roll them, pressing crust mixture into the surface of the ice cream. Divide the warm compote among 6 shallow dessert bowls and place an ice-cream ball in the center of each.

It is hard to believe that a dish with so many flavors and textures could be so easy to prepare. But it is, and can be even easier if you toast and combine the crust ingredients, and scoop the ice cream balls 1 day ahead of time. We don't recommend rolling the ice cream in the crust ahead of time, as the coconut and almonds will become soggy in the freezer. Don't be put off by the touch of cayenne in the pineapple compote. You'll be surprised at how much more interesting its little bit of heat makes this dessert.

Coconut Ice Cream Balls
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