While it may not be the first thing on your barbecue shopping list, fruit is perfect for the grill because the natural sugars are enhanced by the intense heat of grilling. Fruit basically consists of water and sugar, and grilling concentrates and caramelizes the natural sugars. The sugar intensifies and darkens, leading to bold flavors and appearance. Choose fruit in season so you are getting the best-tasting produce. Hard fruits like apples, pears, and pineapples are the easiest to prepare since they hold their shape and texture while cooking. Softer fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and mangoes will become mushy if overcooked. Those should be grilled for a shorter amount of time. Either way, pick a fresh firm fruit that is just short of being perfectly ripe. You will want a fruit that is solid enough to hold together and maintain its texture on the grill.
This is not only tasty; it makes a beautiful dessert that will not keep you in the kitchen for hours!
With Ice Cream
4 large ripe peaches or nectarines
8 cinnamon sticks
8 fresh mint leaves, checked
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peach liquor
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pareve vanilla ice cream (for serving)
Rinse the peaches and blot them dry with paper towels. Cut each peach in half and discard the pit. Then, cut each peach into quarters. Using a wood or metal skewer, make a hole in the center of each peach quarter, working from the pit side to the skin side. Remove the skewer and push 2 peach quarters onto each cinnamon stick, placing a mint leaf between the 2 quarters.
Combine the oil, brown sugar, rum, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Let the glaze boil until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Prepare and preheat the grill to high. Brush and oil the grate. Next, place the skewered peaches on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting with the glaze. Spoon any remaining glaze over the grilled peaches and serve hot or at room temperature with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
The addition of cumin and cayenne bring out amazing flavors in this simple dessert.
Spicy Glazed Fruit Skewers
For the glaze:
1/2 cup maple syrup, preferably pure
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups fruit chunks such as pineapple, peaches, kiwi and bananas
12 10” bamboo skewers
Soak the bamboo skewers in a bowl of water and set aside.
Combine the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the fruit and toss gently to coat with the glaze. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.
Thread the fruit on the soaked skewers, alternating each fruit type. Heat the grill to medium-high, making sure the grates are clean.
Place the skewers on the grill and cook directly over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned and caramelized. Serve warm.
The glazed pineapple rings make a perfect bed for your favorite cake and ice cream
Orange Glazed Pineapple
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into thick rings
Whisk together juice, sugar and zest in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high heat. Working in batches, arrange pineapple on grill in a single layer and cook, carefully flipping once, until just hot throughout and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer fruit to bowls, brush generously with sauce and serve, topped with cake and ice cream if you like.