Some things just taste like a vacation. And if you’ve ever enjoyed a Lapu Lapu at Tambu Lounge or Ohana’s at the Polynesian, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The drink is iconic; fresh tropical juices mixed with plenty of rum and served in a pineapple. One sip and you are carried away to a tropical island, toes in the sand, waves gently tickling your toes. It perfectly fits the ambiance of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
And a tropical escape (preferably of the Disney variety) is exactly what I needed this week. Work has been crazy stressful, and with soaring temperatures and high humidity, it almost feels like we are in Central Florida some times. So why not escape for a few minutes and pretend we’re at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, upstairs in the Tambu Lounge, watching the Electric Water Parade, and sipping, or rather eating, our frozen Lapu Lapu.
I decided to go with a sorbet for the Lapu Lapu because the ingredients just seemed to lend themselves to the refreshing and fruity nature of a sorbet. And it this is so incredibly easy to make. Trust me, you’ll probably spend more time cutting pineapple than doing anything else for this recipe.
I started with a whole pineapple, partly because I was really excited to do this:
Yep, serving your Lapu Lapu sorbet in a pineapple (just like the original Lapu Lapu) instantly creates the feeling that you’re actually enjoying it at Disney. If you close your eyes. And listen to a background loop of Polynesian music (don’t shake your head, we’ve all done it).
Anyway, you just core and slice the pineapple, and peel and slice 2 mangoes, cook these with a little bit of sugar for just a few minutes and let it cool. When cool, puree in a blender. You’ll need about 3 cups of this mixture (mine made almost exactly 3 cups, I was hoping to have some leftover for smoothies).
When you transfer the pineapple and mangoes into the blender, add juice from 2 oranges into the pan (I used Florida juice oranges that I found at the Farmer’s Market; it just seemed a bit more authentic for a Disney recipe). Add a little more sugar and some corn syrup and cook until the sugar melts. Add the pureed pineapple/mango to the orange juice and let cool before freezing. Be sure to add salt to this mixture to taste. I ended up adding more salt before freezing it because I have a thing for salty pineapple.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Before chilling, you need to add the rum.
I mean, what would a Lapu Lapu be without rum?? The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add it to taste, up to 1/4 cup. I just measure out a 1/4 cup pour in a little a time, stir, and taste after each addition to make sure it doesn’t get too strong. But I ended up using the full 1/4 cup anyway. You just want to be careful not to add more than 1/4 cup rum or else the sorbet won’t freeze correctly.
However, any true Lapu Lapu is topped with a rum floater. 🙂 And you totally have my permission to add an extra splash of dark rum (or coconut rum) on top of your Lapu Lapu sorbet if you really need that backyard vacation.
Lapu Lapu Sorbet
1 whole pineapple, cored and sliced
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar (divided)
1/2 cup orange juice (about 2 oranges if squeezing fresh)
1/4 cup corn syrup
Up to 1/4 cup Myer’s Dark Rum (to taste)
Salt to taste
Cook the pineapple and mango slices with 1/3 cup sugar in a large pot over medium heat, just until the sugar is melted and fruit is slightly softened. Transfer to the container of a blender and allow to cool before pureeing.
In the same pot, add the orange juice, corn syrup, and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and cook over low heat just until sugar is melted. Combine the orange juice and the pureed pineapple/mango mixture. Add salt and rum to taste, and cool completely.
When chilled, pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s recommendations. The sorbet should be about the texture of a whipped cream when it’s ready.
Store in your freezer for about 4 hours before serving.
If desired, add a splash of rum on top of your serving of sorbet for a true Disney’s Polynesian Village style of vacation.