Grilled Fruits: The Perfect Ice Cream Topping

Your backyard grill is fired up and hot, and you’ve been serving up ears of grilled Mexican street corn and perfectly cooked skirt steak to satisfied guests at your party. Before you turn off the grill and let coals cool, don’t forget about dessert. Slapping pieces of fruit onto the grill can easily enhance the bowls of ice cream you had planned to serve, as the deliciously caramelized pieces have the power to elevate even a basic scoop of vanilla gelato.

Crown bowls of roasted strawberry and black pepper gelato or store-bought ice cream with grilled bananas and sprinkles of cinnamon, or add summer freshness to a bowl of butterscotch ice cream with pieces of grilled mango. Grilled apricots can nestle nicely onto a scoop of mint ice cream, while grilled pears can top more decadent spoonfuls of chocolate gelato. Not only do the blackened char marks of the grill add aesthetic interest, but the subtle smoky flavor will impart unique culinary appeal to dessert dishes that are Gram-worthy.

Turn basic ice cream bowls into gourmet presentations

grilled pineapple slices on plate

Whether you have fresh or canned fruit at the ready, cut peaches and pineapple rings can be greased up and seasoned to your liking. Brush pieces with your choice of cooking oil or, for even more decadent bites, coat the pieces with butter. For softer or smaller pieces of fruit, use skewers to keep the pieces intact. Firmer cuts of apples and pears can be placed directly onto the grill. When topped with sprinkles of crunchy sea salt, smoked paprika, or red chili flakes, the sweets at your next backyard barbecue are in for a serious upgrade.

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Once bowls have been crowned with grilled fruit, give these pretty presentations the garnish they deserve. A gently laid mint leaf or quick sprinkle of powdered sugar can be an elegant finish to your homemade coffee gelato, or drizzles of caramel and chocolate syrup can turn our dark chocolate tahini cottage cheese ice cream recipe into an even more decadent affair. You’ll want to grill more fruit than what you think you’ll need for dessert. Any pieces that aren’t used to top ice cream can be stirred into tomorrow’s oatmeal, tossed on top of yogurt bowls, or eaten as a snack when nighttime munchies strike.

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