How to grill fruit – chowhound c gastronomie

There are very few foods that don’t benefit from time spent on the grill, fruit included. The high heat caramelizes its sugars and lends a slight char that transforms it into something truly special. And it’s a bit more versatile than grilled lettuce. Whether you’re looking for a sweet-savory main course complement or a summer-perfect dessert, grilled fruit fits the bill. Check out some tips on grilling different kinds, and ideas on how to enjoy the, er, fruits of your labor.

First, you’ll need a grill, whether charcoal or gas. If an actual grill is not an option, though, use your broiler instead for comparable results. If you do have a grill, some pieces of fruit are large enough to sit directly on the grate, while others will need to be skewered or cooked on a perforated grill pan (or a non-perforated model if you don’t want to lose any juices). You may prefer an open grill basket with higher sides, or even a walled pizza grill pan, which has the added benefit of a long handle so you don’t need to fumble with heatproof mitts. There’s also the low-tech option of cooking fruit on a piece of aluminum foil, or wrapped up in a foil packet. If you’re planning on brushing your fruit with any sort of glaze, it’s worth investing in a silicone brush too, but there’s really not much you need in the way of special tools.

Indirect heat is generally the way to go, although you can let flames briefly touch firmer fruits for a few moments. Even those hardier kinds of fruit cook quickly on the grill, so always keep a close eye on it. You’re usually looking at no more than 5 minutes, but since it depends on the heat of your grill as well as the particular fruit you have, use your judgment and pull it off whenever it looks good. You may want to brush your fruit with a tiny bit of oil, especially if you’re placing it directly on the grate, to keep it from sticking. Choose a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola, or add another layer of flavor with olive oil, nut oil, even toasted sesame oil. The natural sugars in the fruit, especially peak-season, super-ripe specimens, will caramelize on the grill and basically make their own syrup, so you don’t really need any additional seasonings, but feel free to brush a sweet or savory glaze on top, depending on how you’ll be serving your grilled fruit. Stone Fruit

Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots—they’re all ideal candidates for the grill, but they do best when they’re slightly underripe; since they’re firmer that way, they’re less likely to totally collapse. If you simply cut them in half and remove the stones, you can lay them directly on the grate, but if you want slices or chunks, just use the aforementioned skewers or grill pans. Leave the skins on to help these softer fruits hold together, then remove it after cooking if you want. And don’t neglect cherries; they’re great on the grill too. Just remove the pits first—you can use a paperclip if you don’t have a cherry pitter! Any of these fruits work well with meat, or as a dessert with ice cream and simple pound cake.