A week ago, I opened a box of beautiful nectarines. I spent the next five days admiring them like a three dimensional still life painting. The color was stunning. The reds, the yellows. But it became apparent that time was running out. I’ve never been a fruit eater, as you are probably coming to realize. So, it takes me a while to figure out how to deal with even the most lovely bounty. This time I turned to my trusted pals on PIE’s facebook page, a really great assortment of folks who like food as much as I do. I pleaded ignorance and asked for ideas. I was not disappointed. I got suggestions for tarts, and a basil nectarine lemonade, and barbecue sauce. I want to do all of these, of course. Don’t you? But one little sweet idea stood out from the rest, admittedly because it sounded so very easy.
Ann (Winingere) Richardson is a pal by marriage, so to speak. When I married Pitts I gained access to a lovely world of people. And, in particular, several of his friends from college have been a huge inspiration for PIE…you have all enjoyed many of Courtney’s recipes. Ann is a St. Louis gal with a knack for entertaining and she, brilliantly, suggested that I simply grill them and sprinkle them with brown sugar and cinnamon. OK. How easy is that? I’ll admit I played with it a little and added a step or two. But still, it is a quick and elegant little treat. You will want to try this one.
I started to cut the fruit in half. Then I decided I wanted to slice my nectarines to achieve flat surfaces. So instead of halving and de-seeding the nectarines, I sliced down to the side of the seed to get two large pieces, and then two smaller pieces. But cutting the fruit in half would be just fine, also. I chose the easy way out and used a grill pan inside instead of firing up the grill.
|Grilled Nectarines...dessert doesn't get much easier than this|| |
- 2 nectarines, cut in half and seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Ice cream
- In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Preheat a grill pan on the stove. Cut the nectarines and grill them for several minutes until they have nice marks, and then turn them a quarter turn if you want criss-cross marks. These cook very quickly…take care that they don’t turn to total mush.
- Meanwhile, in a cast iron or other oven-safe pan, gently melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Preheat the broiler.
- When the nectarines are grilled, remove them to the buttered pan. Dip the grilled side into the butter and then turn it back face up. Sprinkle each with a heaping teaspoon of the sugar mixture. Put the pan under the broiler for approximately one minute. You merely want the sugar to melt and get a little bubbly. Be careful to keep it from burning.
- Spoon the nectarines into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream.
Now, serve. You can eat it as is and it is divine. Or, go one step further and put a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. That is my suggestion. You will rarely see me advocating a “tiny” scoop of ice cream, but here it is a kiss on the cheek of an incredible fruit, not the main event. In fact, a little splash of half and half would achieve a similar result, I suspect.