Grilling And Frying

 

Grilled or chargrilled fruit makes a simple and speedy hot fruit dessert. Fruits can also be deep-fried in batter to make fritters, or sautéed and flambéed. Choose ripe but firm fruits that hold their shape well.

BARBECUING

Cut fruits into slices or wedges, like the pineapple, pawpaw and mango shown here, or cut into chunks and thread on to oiled skewers to make kebabs. Some fruits, such as bananas, can be barbecued whole. Brush the barbecue grid with oil before putting on the fruit. You can also brush the fruit with flavourings such as lemon juice and honey, but use spices sparingly as they can easily scorch.

UNWRAPPED

For a chargrilled effect, cook fruits directly on an oiled grid of the barbecue, turning once, 3-5 minutes.

WRAPPED

For whole fruits to be served en papillote, wrap in foil and cook on the barbecue grid for 5-10 minutes.

GRILLING EN SABAYON

Fresh soft fruits, such as the strawberries and blueberries used here, are covered with a sabayon sauce and placed under a hot grill until browned. The sabayon sauce produces a caramelized topping, protecting the sweet juicy fruit below. Choose heatproof bowls that will withstand the intense heat.

1. Arrange prepared fruits decoratively in an even layer in heatproof bowls.

2. Spoon sabayon sauce over fruits - it will melt and spread over the fruits during cooking. Place under a hot grill until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT

A chilled sweet sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a hot fruit dessert. Whipped cream is the traditional choice; here are some alternatives:

• Crème chantilly or chilled crème anglaise.

• Equal quantities of whipped cream and Greek yogurt or fromage blanc.

• Sugar syrup made with liqueur, sweet wine or citrus juice and flavoured with chopped fresh mint or ground cinnamon.

• Coconut cream sauce made following the method for crème anglaise but using coconut milk instead of ordinary milk. Chill the sauce, then top with toasted threads or shavings of coconut just before serving. Serve with tropical fruits.

COATING IN A SUGAR GLAZE

This technique gives fruits a caramelized coating, and is best suited to fruits that are firm enough to hold their shape, such as the orange segments shown here, grapes, cherries, underripe peach or pear slices and wedges or chunks of apple.

Take care when cooking the syrup before the fruits are added. It should be light golden, not brown, or the fruits will taste bitter. Keep the pieces of fruit in a single layer, and do not overcrowd the pan or the fruits will stew and become soggy.

For about 250 g prepared fruits, dissolve 50 g sugar in 100 ml water over a low heat. Add 15 g butter and then heat gently until melted and light golden. Increase the heat and simmer until the syrup bubbles and becomes a glaze, then add fruits. Shake the pan until the fruits are evenly coated with the glaze.

FLAMBEEING

Flambéed fruits make a spectacular dessert, and have a special intensity of flavour. Grapes or cherries are best suited to this technique, and any high-proof alcohol such as brandy, rum, a fortified wine like Madeira, or a fruit-based liqueur.

1. Melt butter in a frying pan. Add sugar and prepared fruits; sauté for 1-2 minutes. Warm alcohol in a separate pan and ignite it off the heat, then pour the flaming alcohol over fruits.

2. Baste the fruits constantly with the flaming sauce until the flames have died down, using a long-handled large metal spoon for safety. Serve immediately.

MAKING ASIAN FRITTERS

Fruits deep-fried in Asian-style tempura batter are crisp and light on the outside, sweet and juicy within. The batter is so light that the colour of the fruit shows through. Firm fruits, such as apples and pears, are suitable and tropical fruits like the pineapple, mango, pawpaw and kiwi fruit shown here. Dry the fruit well before coating it or the batter will not adhere.

1. Peel and slice or segment the fruits or cut them into chunks, keeping the shapes as equal in size as possible. Pat the fruits thoroughly dry with paper towels.

2. Prepare tempura batter. Dip the fruit pieces in the batter until coated, using a pair of chopsticks or a two-pronged fork. Allow the excess batter to drain back into the bowl. Deep-fry in 190°C oil until the fritters are crisp and golden, 2-3 minutes. Drain before serving.

TEMPURA BATTER

50 g plain flour

50 g cornflour

1½ tsp baking powder

1 egg, beaten

200 ml iced water

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the egg with the water, then stir into the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.