Grill School: Fun With Fruit

Warning: Continued reading may cause serious salivation.

| June/July 2011

Whether it knows it or not, any fruit you could ever meet would love to be licked by hot, hot flames. When fires upward of 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit tickle the skin of peaches, plums and pineapples, a wonderful thing begins to happen. Working their way slowly from the outside in, attractive amino acids seduce sugar compounds into a fiery dance that leaves the naked fruit permanently scarred from the browning frenzy. This sticky-sweet caramelization opens up an entirely new realm of possible flavors and aromas, each of which is unique to the fruit in question.

Almost any fresh fruit is a good candidate for cooking over open fire, but the most dripping-wet pieces of ripe fruit, such as peaches, pineapples, plums and mangoes, are ideal. Their unique juices will be complemented perfectly by the smoky offerings of fruit woods (apple, cherry, peach, pear) emanating from the fire beneath. And pretty much every piece of hot, grilled fruit would enjoy the post-cooking refreshment of a cool drizzle of something sweet.

Grilled Pineapple Rings With Jalapeño-Spiked Tequila Recipe

Char-grilled pineapple is a surefire crowd pleaser, and pre-soaking it in spicy booze is pretty much gilding the lily. For a simpler dessert — sans spice, alcohol and added sugar — you can just grill the pineapple rings by themselves.


1 fresh pineapple (or substitute canned)
About 2 cups tequila
1 to 2 jalapeños, depending on desired heat, diced with seeds removed
About 1/2 cup brown sugar


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