The delicate flavors of fruit can be greatly enhanced and condensed by grilling them. They can be served as side dishes for main meals and as deserts. Fruits can also be steamed and roasted in the oven, but grilling and barbecuing imparts the unique smoky taste that provides something unique and memorable.
Stone fruit such as peaches, plumbs, apricots and nectarines work very well, but you can also grill and barbecue, figs, pears, apples, mangoes and many other fruits provided you have some way to keep them in place and together when they are being cooked on skewers. Most fruit only takes seconds to cook and you want to retain some firmness and texture.
The cooking should bring out the juices and flavors, add smokiness, soften the flesh while warming the fruit to enhance the taste and texture.
Below are some of the best ever grilled fruit recipes and a guide for which fruits to use and how to prepare them.
Wash the peaches, slice in half and remove the pits. Place peaches on a piece of aluminium foil, large enough so that it can be folded over the peaches to create a pocket. Place 2 tablespoons of berries into each half peach. Squeeze a little lemon juice onto each peach and top with 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Fold up the foil to form a pocket and seal. Place on a hot grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning only once. Remove the peaches from the foil and serve will still warm to hot.
Preheat the grill or barbecue to moderate-high. Combine the brown sugar, almonds and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix the ricotta, vanilla essence and honey in a small serving bowl as a dressing for the grilled figs. Slice half-way through each fig and gently prise them open. Fill each split fig cavity with some of the mixture. Grill the figs on a hot plate or on a piece of foil for about 4-5 minutes or until the sugar just starts to bubble. Serve the figs, immediately on small plates, with a dollop of the honey and ricotta sauce.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and water to a bowl with the apple slices. Grill the apple on a grill rack (or barbecue) until they brown slightly (about 6-8 minutes on each side). Once cooked, serve with a sprinkling of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Combine the brown sugar, rum, honey and orange juice and mix until all the sugar is dissolved. Thread the pineapple slices onto metal skewers or wooden skewers soaked in water. Place the skewers on the pre-heated, moderate temperature grill and baste with rum sauce while the pineapple is cooked for about 10 minutes, turning several times. Remove from heat and let cook a little before serving with ice cream or yogurt.
Preheat the grill or barbecue to high temperature. Brush honey on the cut sides of the figs and lightly coat with oil. Place the figs, cut side down on a grill or barbecue rack or hot plate. Cook for 3 minutes until the cooked surface shows brown grill marks. Remove from the grill and dress with the cream mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
Make a slice lengthwise along each banana, without cutting all the way through. Open each banana up slightly and pack brown sugar into the slit. Drizzle the brown sugar with liqueur. Grill or barbecue covered with a piece of foil for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve the grilled bananas with ice crean or whipped fresh cream.
Mix all the spices together in a small dish. Pour the honey, rum, juices into a small jug and mix in the sugar.
Thread the fruit slices onto the skewers. Sprinkle the fruit with the spice mixture. Then brush the fruit with the rum mixture. Grill the fruit until marked with brown streaks from the grill. Remove the skewers from the grill and use the remaining liquid as a dressing. Serve with cream or ice cream.
Brush the apricots with a little oil. Barbecue or grill, the apricots cut side down, until golden brown, about (90 seconds). Flip the apricots over and grill for another 60 seconds minute. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with melted chocolate and almonds.