Cooking outside when the weather is nice is very appealing, and it’s nice to be able to make dessert while you’re outside – and without heating up the house to bake – so one of the best summertime desserts out there is grilled fruit. Grilling can make fruit sweeter, as it caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit, and can make them seem even juicier than they are naturally. Having some nice grill marks and a bit of a savory flavor (from smoke, meat or anything else you’ve grilled) is not a bad touch, either.
When it comes to choosing fruit to grill, you have lots of options. You can put anything on the grill, but some fruits will hold up better than others. Berries, for instance, could be grilled for novelty, but generally soften to the point where they’re not nearly as appealing as they are when fresh. Your best bets are fruits that are firm enough to withstand the heat without becoming mushy, and anything that is in-season is going to give you the best flavor. Peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits are fantastic choices. Pineapple takes on a lot of additional sweetness when it is grilled, too. Apples don’t soften up enough during grilling to make them great options, but I’ve seen pears and melons (often with prosciutto and more as an appetizer than dessert) used.
Turn the heat on the grill down, so you don’t burn the fruit, and use a little oil or cooking spray to keep the fruit from sticking. Serve the grilled fruit on its own or with ice cream. You can also chop it up and incorporate it into other desserts, like cream puffs and shortcakes, as well.