One of my favorite things about summertime is the wide variety of fresh produce available at both my local grocery stores and my local farmers markets. From tomatoes and corn to strawberries and melons, it seems that everything is at their flavor peak when the weather is hot. I find that fruit is absolutely irresistible in the summer and always bring home a few baskets to work with. Fresh fruit really doesn’t need any fancy preparations or sauces to be enjoyed, especially when that fruit is perfectly sweet and ripe.
So, I like to keep things simple with my summer fruits and will usually toss them on the grill after cooking my main course. Grilled fruit is one of the best – and easiest – summer desserts that you can make. Grilling can make sweet fruit even sweeter, as well as adding a slight char that contrasts with the fruits’ sugars. And if you’re anything like me, you already have that grill going all the time in the summer and grilling fruit is just one more way to put it to good use.
Just about any fruit can be grilled, though some fruits will hold up better than others. Berries, for instance, can be grilled quickly, but can soften too quickly in the high heat. Your best choices for grilling are fruits that are firm enough to withstand the heat without becoming mushy. Peaches, plums, nectarines and other stone fruits are my favorite choices, though fruits like pineapple, melon and even pears can be very delicious, too. To grill fruit, you’ll want to turn the heat down to low and then give either the fruit or the grill a light coating of oil to keep the tender fruit from sticking. Once you put the fruit on the heat, you can just leave it alone for a few minutes as it cooks, and remove it when it is perfectly tender.
Grilled fruit can be served on its own, but my favorite way to serve it is with a few scoops of ice cream as a sundae. Cold vanilla ice cream is a wonderful contrast for the fruit when it is still warm from the grill and after serving this up at your next barbecue, you just might find that grilled fruit will become a staple at every one of your summer cookouts.
Grilled Peach Sundaes
This recipe couldn’t get any easier if you already have the grill going. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits to grill, but you can make sundaes with any kind of fruit you like. You can finish off your sundaes with a scoop of whipped cream and sprinkles for a traditional sundae look, but I typically opt for a simple drizzle of honey just to kiss each dish with a little extra sweetness before serving.
3 large, ripe peaches
olive or canola oil
vanilla ice cream
Preheat your grill, then turn it down to a low heat.
Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Do not peel. Brush cut peach halves with a little bit of olive oil or canola oil.
Place peaches on the grill, cut-side down. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until peaches are very tender and heated through.
Place each peach in a small dessert dish and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with honey before serving, if desired.