Pineapple Galette and Caramel Rum Sauce with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and trip around West Maui

by Irvin on August 8, 2011 · 14 comments

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We had been in Maui for a couple of weeks before we decide to do something other than go to the beach. AJ and I had been to Maui three years ago, for our friend Nina and Aric’s wedding (thank you Nina and Aric for introducing us to Maui, we’ll forever be grateful!). Back then, we had done a lot of the big “tourist” things, including the Road to Hana, the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, a traditional luau and numerous hikes around the island to see waterfalls and volcano cinder cones. But one part of the island that we didn’t have a chance to visit is West Maui. Originally a different island completely, millions years ago, the two volcanoes that created the two islands flowed together creating an isthmus bridging the two, making one big island. The drive around West Maui can be a bit harrowing, as the roads in the northern part of the coast aren’t in the best condition and with our ghetto rental car (it barely accelerates) we celebrated our survival afterwards with this Pineapple Galette and Caramel Rum Sauce with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Pineapple Galette with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Rum Sauce jpg

Pineapple Galette with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Rum Sauce

There are two major resort areas in Maui, the newer Wailea area, which is just south of where we stayed in Kihei (this part of the island is often called South Maui). Resorts like the Fairmont and the Four Seasons have hotels here, and there are some excellent beaches (including my favorite ones, Big Beach and Little Beach). Over on West Maui are the older fancy resorts though. The Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott and Ritz Carlton all have hotels over in West Maui, and the beaches over there are suppose to be quite fantastic as well, with some amazing snorkeling. One guide book claimed that you if you were to discover the island as is and wanted to build a resort on it, you would pick the West Maui area to build. Why we didn’t make it over there on our first visit is beyond me.

A gorgeous beach in West Maui jpg

A sprawling gorgeous beach in West Maui

We started our trip to West Maui with lunch at Star Noodle. AJ and I were told to check it out by numerous people who have visited Maui recently, and it’s no wonder, as lunch was pretty fantastic. Chef Sheldon Simeon was voted 2011 Chef of the Year in Maui magazine as well as Rising Star Chef finalist for the James Beard Awards (Star Noodle itself was nominated for Best New Restaurant) and it’s no wonder, with his fresh take on noodles and Asian fusion food with a pacific rim twist. AJ and I split some Steamed Pork Buns, the fish special (I think it was a butterfish with teriyaki miso glaze) and shared the Hapa Ramen. All fantastic, definitely worth the hype.

As someone who has designed restaurants in a previous life, Star Noodle was really well done.

As someone who has designed restaurants in a previous life, Star Noodle was really well done.

The steamed buns with a nice fat slice of pressed pork. jpg

The steamed buns with a nice fat slice of pressed pork.

The miso teriyaki glazed butterfish special on a bed of local greens. jpg

The miso teriyaki glazed butterfish special on a bed of local greens.

The Hapa Ramen at Star Noodle. Rumor has it, it was inspired by a visit to Momofuku NYC. jpg

The Hapa Ramen at Star Noodle. Rumor has it, it was inspired by a visit to Momofuku NYC.

That said we mostly bypassed the West Maui beaches, and headed over to look at the dragon teeth lava rocks near the Ritz Carlton. These rock formations are just past the Ritz Carlton, which had built its resort near an ancient burial ground (apparently the Ritz Carlton had never seen the movie Poltergeist). The way the wind swept and cooled the lava, and the erosion from the salt water, left the rock formations to look like jagged dragon teeth. As we walked around, we saw a group of kids from the Ritz Carlton being led out by a lifeguard to a part of the ocean where they were jumping in and swimming. Had we brought our swimwear along, we would have joined them!

Dragon Teeth Formation on West Maui. jpg

Dragon Teeth Formation on West Maui.

The way the lava cooled and eroded caused these awesome stones formations, a sacred burial ground. jpg

The way the lava eroded caused these awesome stones formations, an ancient sacred burial ground.

Oh man, I wish I had my swimsuit. Talk about so cool. jpg

I never had this sort of cool experience in MY childhood. Dang!

A few miles past the dragon teeth is the Nakalele Blowhole. The blowhole was made by the ocean salt water wearing away a hole in the lava, and with each wave an eruption of water jumps up, similar to a geyser. It’s pretty dramatic and the day before we arrived, a man (from the San Francisco Bay Area, no less) decided to go and stand right next to the blow hole…and ended up getting sucked right into the ocean. Sadly he was never found afterwards. The ocean is a powerful creature, don’t mess with it people. AJ and I admired the blowhole from a safe distance, though we did hike down to take a closer look.

The Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui from a distance. jpg

The Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui from a distance.

The hike down to the Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui. jpg

The hike down to the Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui.

The Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui, up close. jpg

The Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui, up close.

The journey around West Maui is exquisite, similar to the Road to Hana (I’ll be writing about that journey soon enough) but one thing you don’t really see much of are waterfalls. Some of the best waterfalls on the island are actually over on the West Maui side of the island, but you need to take a helicopter ride to actually see them. AJ and I decided not to do a helicopter ride on this trip (though you can check out our helicopter ride over Kauai if you want to see some amazing waterfall pictures). That said, the views from West Maui of the coastline is still gorgeous. Traveling around the island in car gave us a pretty unique perspective all the way around, allowing us to see the ocean and the neighboring islands from all sorts of angles.

Coastline of West Maui. jpg

Coastline of West Maui.

Rock Formation on West Maui. jpg

Rock Formation on West Maui.

The island of Molokai off in the distance. jpg

The island of Molokai off in the distance.

We did stop at the top of a cliff in a remote town, to grab a mango smoothie and take in the view. The kids working the smoothie bus tried to hustle me for a couple more dollars to visit Los Angeles for their school and I ended giving them a few more dollars tip for the smoothie. I’ll admit, after the long weary drive along the ragged road, that smoothie tasted pretty darn good.

The smoothie truck in remote West Maui. jpg

The smoothie bus in remote West Maui.

The view from the cliff that the smoothie bus had. jpg

The view from the cliff that the smoothie bus had.

In the end, we survived our trip around West Maui, a trip that was probably even more harrowing than a trip around Hana, happy to have done it, but even happier to have it behind us. To soothe my nerves, I decided I needed to bake a little. This galette is relatively easy to make, but I went a few steps past easy to fancy it up. The homemade rum caramel is pretty awesome on anything you want to put it on, especially vanilla bean ice cream. I bought the ice cream at the local grocery store, because we didn’t have an ice cream maker in the condo, but if you have homemade ice cream, go for it, that will make it all the more fancy.

Pineapple Galette with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Rum Sauce. jpg

Grilled Pineapple Galette

And if you by chance have an opportunity to drive around West Maui, don’t forget your camera. And your seatbelt too. ;)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel @ Box Feast August 8, 2011 at 5:53 am

Looks delicious! I often use bottles as rolling pins…I really should invest in one.

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Melissa @ Dash of East August 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

The pineapple galette looks amazing! But, the photos of Maui look even more amazing. Your past month in Hawai’i looks like it was an amazing experience. I so wish that my husband and I could do something like that – maybe in the future when he has a more flexible job situation :)

Those steamed pork buns look delicious! They make me yearn for Taiwan, I had some pretty awesome ones a couple years ago when I still ate red meat :) Enjoy the rest of your time in Maui!!

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Xai Losito August 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

i love the fact that you’re still baking up a storm during your vacation. well, i guess it’s good for us since we’re getting more recipes even if you’re out of town. anyway, this galette looks fantastic and it’s true, rum caramel tastes good with ice cream… and almost anything. your take on it seems awfully sinful, so that surely would go on to my have to do list. by the way, i love your red ghetto car, i’m pretty sure it was a bitch to drive, but it seems like a really good idea to get one like it. i also love the photos of the blowhole, i wonder how loud that thing is. hmmm… that’s a thought.

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charissa (zest bakery) August 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

sounds wonderful! We are going to Kauai in September. I might just have to pack our own gluten-free flours so we can do some baking! :) I can’t wait to get a hold of some tropical fruit! Thanks for sharing this recipe and pictures of your trip.

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Irvin August 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Kauai is amazing! We almost went there instead of Maui, but since we were there last year we picked Maui instead. Be sure to bring really good comfortable hiking sandals/boots. And DEFINITELY do the helicopter ride (with the doors OFF if you can stomach it). Best money I’ve ever spent.

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Pat August 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hope Marina reads this post while she’s still in Kaua’i……this would be the perfect celebratory dessert for when her sons are all together with her there. It’s gorgeous.

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Sabrina Modelle August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

OMG, I am obsessed with both galettes and pineapple, so of course, I love this. Yum! Also, a bit of trivia, did you know that pineapples are called something close to ananas in most languages? That is all.
Miss you so much.
XOXO

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Run Fast Travel Slow August 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I agree, those steamed buns look delicious!

I love the rustic look of the galette. Nice job using the wine bottle! I’ve used the handle of a long wooden spoon to roll out dough (definitely too narrow, but it gets the job done…).

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Amy Tong August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

What an adventure in Maui! Boy, I sure miss Hawaii. I guess I can make your pineapple galette for a taste of Hawaii and refresh my memories! :)

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Nelly Rodriguez August 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Love the wine bottle action and that custard wit pineapple sounds amazing! Did someone say rum sauce? I’m there! Thanks for sharing dear!

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Jen @ keepitsimplefoods August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

Love this recipe. Gorgeous pics!

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bethany August 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm

WOW, love Hawaii and love this tart. Pineapple yes, but caramel run you closed it perfectly. Love your blog by the way.

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grafik bildbearbeitung August 11, 2011 at 12:24 am

WOW, lovely food i love that u making good delicious marvels thank for sheering :)

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annelies August 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Yes, please. This galette- I can almost taste the caramelized edges of the pineapples. It’s making me want something frosty and coconut-ful in my hand right now…

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