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Grilled Fruit

Grilling has become one of the all American past times. Almost every event starting with Memorial day and continuing through Labor day includes the grill or barbeque. Burgers and hot dogs are almost always on the menu supplemented with more meats such as chicken and ribs, or fish and venison. Meat is not the only food though that can be grilled. For many grilled vegetables are the favorite variant, but again are not the only foods that can be grilled. Fruit is always a favorite when hot, be it warm apple pie, or fresh steaming peach cobbler. Unfortunately those, of coarse delicious, aren’t so waist friendly and with the other high calorie foods at outdoor events it is nice to offer a lower calorie, refreshing sweet.

Almost any firm fruit can be put on the grill such as apples and pears. Those with pits work well, such as peaches, plums, and mangoes. The stately pineapple is also a grilled favorite and the most simple of all as it needs nothing more then to be cleaned and sliced, no oils, sugars or anything added to it.

Fruit cooks quick on the grill, the softer the fruit the quicker the cook. All grills cook differently so it is important to watch closely for doneness. Look for good caramelization (the natural sugars will brown deliciously) as well as softening of fruit. Do this for all three recipes below.

Grilled Pineapple

This is the easiest of preps.

Clean pineapple well, and cutting off the top. It is a matter of style as to whether or not you would like to trim off the skin and or take out the core. The core will cook to be edible while on grill so there is no need to waste it, and the skin can give that rustic look if that is what you are going for though people will need to eat around it. Slices can be rounds, slices or wedges, how thick you cut the pineapple will determine how long it cooks but it is best to go with a 1/4 – 1/2 piece. Chunks can also be made and skewered too.

When grill is hot put pineapple slices on it and let cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat, or until nice caramel colored grill marks appear on the side down, be careful not to burn. The natural sugars in pineapple can char quickly. Turn slices over and cook for about the same amount of time on other side, remove from grill, placing on plate or silpat. The pineapples natural sugars will become very sticky, avoid letting them cook on a paper plate that may pull apart. Other citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges are great on their own and lemons and limes done this way can give a martini and other cocktails a different twist.

Grilled pit fruits

Easy to prep just wash fruits and cut in half removing the pits. As long as the skin is edible it can stay on if not peel it. Have a bowl of granulated sugar ready about 1/4 cup for 4-5 fruits.

These softer fruits can stick to the grill so either use a cooking spray or brush cut sides with oil or butter. Place cut side down on grill and let cook for 3-4 minutes, ( the larger the fruit the longer the time). Take off the grill and and dip cut side in granulated sugar, then flip over, there is no need to oil skins but if cut do wipe down. Let cook until sugar on top has melted and begins to bubble making a crunchy brulee style topping.

Carmel apples

Apples or pears can be used for this.

Clean and cut apples in half. Leave sins on to help keep fruits from falling apart when done. Using a melonballer scoop out seeds making a well in each fruit half. Brush with oil or butter and cook cut side down for 4-5 minutes. Turn over and in each well place an unwrapped caramel cube. Cook until caramel has melted and serve as is or with whipped cream. Peaches can also be made this way.

Easy and yummy these fruits are great accompaniment to lunches, dinners or the dessert table. All can be served with a meal and the pineapple is great to liven up burgers just as the apples and pears either with or with out the caramel are great with pork cuts.