While most of us associate the grill with meat, fish and veggies, grilling fruit has been very popular in the Caribbean and Central and South American countries. But the heat of the grill caramelizes the sugars in fruit, making it especially tasty. Have the base of the sundae and the toppings ready – there’s nothing better than hot grilled fruit topped with one of these summer favourites. Add a sprig of mint and you’ve got a gourmet dish!
Tips for Grilling Fruit
Before you start:
- For best results let fruits soak in lemon water for 20 to 30 minutes. If you need to, add ice to keep the water cold
- Make sure the grill is cleaned and oiled (you don’t want your dessert tasting like a hamburger!)
- The grill needs to be good and hot (350-400 Fahrenheit) so the cooking is quick.
- Have your toppings ready so you can add it to the hot fruit right away.
You can also pre-soak your fruit in a mixture of rum, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon. Watch for flare-ups, once the alcohol burns, so stand back. Let them grill until the alcohol is burned off and the surface is brown and shiny.
- We’re talking a few minutes here. Don’t leave the grill! Soft fruit cooks in 2-3 minutes, harder fruit perhaps 4-5 minutes.
Fruits to Grill
- Slices of pineapple, apple, peaches, nectarines, mangos, pears, plums
- Fresh figs, strawberries (skewered)
- Bananas sliced vertically
- Cantaloupe and Honey Dew melons
Note: any of the above can also be prepared as a fruit kebab on a skewer
Base for a “Grilled Fruit Sundae”
- Whipped cream
- Greek yogurt
- Frozen yogurt
- Ice Cream
- Lemon Gelato
- Dollop of mascarpone cheese
- Fresh smaller fruit like berries and cherries
- Caramelized nuts
- Chocolate and marshmallow sauce
- Favourite liqueurs
- “Chunks” of pound cake or angel food cake
- M&Ms or other colourful candies (for the kids and the kids at heart)
Remember, the whole idea of a BBQ is to keep things simple. Grilled desserts are quick and easy so no one needs to wait. It also works best if you can grill and serve and then let everyone put together their own favourite combination.