When thinking of what to eat at a BBQ, most people think of hamburgers, ribs and maybe grilled vegetables. Those make for a great meal, but what about dessert?
Well, dessert can be made on a BBQ as well!
Fruit becomes special when it is warm from the BBQ with grill marks. Those grill marks are caramelized sugar, and that is what makes desserts from the BBQ unique. Also, everyone can enjoy fruit, be they vegan, vegetarian or carnivore.
Before you throw fruit onto the grill, here are some tips:
1. Choose the Best Fruits for the Grill
You have a great choice of fruit that can go on the grill. Mostly, you want fruit that can stand up to the grilling and keep their shape, so it has to be somewhat firm, and not overripe. Pineapple is classic, but there is also peaches, melons, pears, avocado, bananas and figs for example.
2. Keep Size in Mind
Cut the fruit into large chunks, slices, rings or wheels so that the fruit keeps its structural integrity. Fruit breaks down when cooking, so you have to be careful to make everything big. Making it bigger also keeps the pieces from falling through the grill. Put smaller fruit like strawberries onto skewers so they won’t fall through the grill. This breaking down is what causes the fruit to be so juicy when you BBQ it.
3. Let the BBQ Do the Work
You can set up the grill so that it is on high heat, which will minimize sticking, and you can decide whether or not you want to use oil. Once the fruit is on the grill, leave it alone! You may really want to check if a grill mark is starting, but leave it alone for a few minutes. The fruit will need this time for its surface to sear so that it won’t stick.
4. Different Fruit Have Different Grilling Times
Some fruit are denser than others. For example, pineapple needs more time to cook than peaches do. If you’re grilling denser fruit and you’re concerned about cooking it all the way through, you can close the lid and check every 5 minutes or so to see if it’s done. You can check for doneness by taking a sample slice and seeing if it is hot in the middle. Or, you might just want surface grill marks, depending on how you like your fruit.
Pineapple is good enough to serve plain, but if you want to make it a little more fancy, try this simple but elegant recipe:
Vegetable oil, for grates
1 pineapple, peeled, cut crosswise into 4 thick slices, and cored
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup orange sorbet
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. In a bowl, toss pineapple with honey and cayenne. Grill until light-brown grill marks appear, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Serve pineapple with sorbet; garnish with mint.
Dessert on the grill is a simple and easy treat!