Grilled fruit is the perfect companion to all of those grilled meats of summer. Throw a slice of grilled pineapple on a burger and you’ll never miss the tomato. A foil pouch of grilled peaches makes the perfect glaze and side dish for either grilled pork chops or ribs and grilled mango will give a touch of the tropics to your favorite salsa recipe. But how about making your entire dinner easier on you? S’mores aren’t the only dessert that can be made over a fire. Grilled desserts will keep you outside, with your guests, and allow your kitchen to stay cool with no oven and few dishes clean up. And did I mention that grilled fruit is a lot lower in fat and calories than that other summertime dessert aka ice cream?
Alright, this post isn’t about bashing ice cream. As you all know…I do love my ice cream. But sometimes you just want/need to lighten things up a bit, but you just don’t want to sacrifice dessert. With grilled fruit as your dessert, you don’t have to.
Like I said earlier, grilled fruit is a fantastic way to lighten up some of your classic grilling recipes. Even if you don’t want to think about reducing calories on some of your favorite summertime dishes, serving them with grilled fruits just gives them new flavors and new life to the tired recipes you’ve been making year after year.
If you’ve never had grilled fruit before, you’re in for a definite treat. Grilling the fruit caramelizes all of those natural sugars so that the outside layer has a slightly smokey and really rich sweet flavor, and maybe a little crispiness from some char, like you’ve never tasted on a fresh peach, mango or piece of pineapple before. It makes all of your favorite fruits taste like something new and unexpected.
Of course you can find lots of different recipes for grilled fruit, online. As I mentioned earlier, a foil pouch of grilled peaches is great to slather over pork. Usually you would include things like some brown sugar, ginger, salt, cinnamon and maybe some rum or bourbon to help create an even more flavorful sauce out of the peaches. Many people like to make a glaze of honey and lime juice to brush on their pineapple spears before grilling them. This adds even more flavor to the fruit. But I think plain grilled fruit is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats.
But we’re talking about desserts here. Plain grilled pineapple, mangos and grilled peaches all by themselves make for a really satisfying dessert. Of course, you could make up some whipped cream and a simple fruit syrup to drizzle over top of the fruits if you think you want to dress up your grilled desserts a bit.
Another way to use grilled fruit is in place of simple fresh fruit in your dessert recipes. Grilled peaches make for the perfect fruit in a peaches and biscuits dessert. Or you could use them for peach shortcake, if you don’t want to make biscuits.
But grilled pineapple makes a great side dish or dessert all on its own. It doesn’t taste like the pineapple you’re used to. The grilling gives it a flavor like it’s been rolled in brown sugar. Think pineapple upside down cake…but just the pineapple part and no cake or weird plastic cherries (that’s what it tastes like).
So this summer, when you’re thinking about grilling out, don’t forget you can make your desserts and side dishes on the grill too. Easy fruits to grill include pineapple, mango and peaches. But just about any fruit can be grilled. For smaller fruits, like berries and cherries, all you need to do is get a grill basket to keep them from falling through the grates.
This post is part of the BlogHer Light & Fresh Summer Grilling series, which includes 100 percent editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Our advertisers do not produce editorial content. This post is made possible by Michelob ULTRA Light Cider and BlogHer.
Recipe: How To Grill Fruits
- 1 Pineapple
- 4 Peaches
- 2 Mangos
- Pre-heat your grill to at least 500 degrees Farenheit.
For Grilled Pineapple
- Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple.
- Use your knife to cut down the sides of the pineapple and remove the skin and “eyes” (those little round things that stay in the pineapple).
- Cut the pineapple in half (lengthwise) then each half lengthwise again.
- Cut out the core from the quarters by making a diagonal slice on either side of the core (in a V shape) and pop out the core.
- Cut each quarter in half again.
- Grill on each side just until you notice that the surface is beginning to look dry. You should have nice grill marks by that time too. Turn and continue to do this on all 3 sides.
- Once done, remove to a platter.
For Grilled Peaches
- Cut peaches in half and remove pit. If using clingstone peaches (the kind where you can’t pop out the pit) just cut each of the halves around the pit. You can then also cut the ends and grill them too if you wish.
- Place the peaches, skin side up, on the grill and check after 2 minutes. They should have good grill marks and be just starting to soften. If they aren’t quite ready, turn them slightly (to get those cross hatch grill marks) and check after another minute or 2.
- Flip the peaches over and cook skin side down for no more than 2 minutes.
- Remove to a platter.
For Grilled Mangos
- Peel the mango using a sharp knife.
- Cut down (lengthwise) on either side of the pit. You can cut the end pieces and grill those too if you wish.
- Cut each mango half into 4 or 5 equal strips (depending on how big your mango is).
- Holding the pieces together, in their original half mango shape, lay them on the grill flat side down.
- Grill for 2 minutes and check for grill marks and slight browning of the rest of the mango (the mango won’t soften like the peaches).
- Once you have good grill marks, go ahead and flip the mango over and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Once done remove to platter.
- Plate up fruit so that everyone gets some of each of your grilled fruits and serve with whipped cream, a fruit sauce, yogurt or even a mixture of the fruits chopped up and served over vanilla ice cream.
Cut up as many fruits as you would like. If I’m serving 4 people, I generally use 1 pineapple, 8 peaches and 2 mangos. That makes for a very generous fruit plate.
Depending on what your grill grates look like, you may need to brush them down with a little vegetable oil before grilling the fruits. The sugars in the fruits make them stick to the grates a bit more than meat does. You can rub down the grates with a pair of tongs holding a rolled up towel that you’ve dipped in oil.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)