Laboring at the Grill

If you’ve never grilled fruit, I highly recommend it. I’ve grilled many a peach, apricot, plum, apple and grape. The grapes and apples I prefer over a salad, ideally accompanied by a bit of blue cheese, while the others I like as a dessert. I’ve never grilled a pluot, however. Until tonight.

I’d finished my chicken and zucchini, and the grill outside was still hot. I grabbed a pluot from the fridge and figured it wouldn’t be much different from my previous fruit-grilling, being that it’s simply a plum crossed with an apricot — though it skews more plum. But tonight I used a small bit of good olive oil as a marinade for about 30 minutes, then dusted the pluot slices with granulated sugar right before tossing them on the grill.

Dude.

It goes without saying that the second the sugar hit the hot grate, it was as though the sugar on top of creme brulee was being torched right in front of me.

I decided to throw the lid on to really soften up the pluots, then returned to them five minutes later. They got a turn, and I retired inside to the couch for five more minutes.

When I took them off the grill, their color was that of a ruby red grapefruit, and the char on the softened skin was a striking contrast. The scent of caramelized sugar started a memory brawl in my head. No longer was I thinking about creme brulee, I was thinking of the tiny bits of marshmallow that would stick to the end of skewers and, as I’d sit around the campfire and make s’more after s’more, the sticky ends would become darker with each pass over the flames. Divine. My pluots looked soft and delightful, and I knew I wanted to add a different texture to liven things up. Standing in front of the fridge, my eyes fell on my container of Greek yogurt. Nope, not different enough. But the almonds I usually add to the top could do the trick.

And they did. I tossed a handful into a small bag, gave it a couple cathartic whacks with a wooden spoon and, as I dove into my dessert after sprinkling the top of the fruit with my crunchy finish, it was the perfect combination: sweet, tart, soft and almost jammy, with the earthy, crunch of almonds. Note to self: must remember to replicate this dessert during cooler weather.

Tonight I am thankful for my simple dessert that was the perfect ending to a long weekend, for the memories it brought back and for the delicious promise of recreating it in the coming months. Who knew a pluot could take its place right next to creme brulee and s’mores? Here’s to finding out what else can join them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s