We have the most wonderful grapefruit in SA – fat, pinky-golden orbs that are a far cry from the green-yellow mouth puckering ones I remember from my childhood. Ok I know that’s probably what grapefruit should be like – but time and genetic tinkering have wrought changes to the mighty sour-citrus: happy ones I think. So, when I saw a half-dozen of the pink variety being hawked in a string bag at the side of the road, I knew I had to take them home with me. Partly, because I immediately fancied a grapefruit g’n’t (introduced to me by Gav’n’Goobie and adored ever since), but also because I suddenly had a craving for the burnt sugar-crunchy, hot, grilled treat I used to make as a kid. Back when sweets were something we only ate on Sundays, but grapefruit and white sugar were available all week.
Grilled Grapefruit have made sporadic appearances over the years as a dessert too – especially when I am on a bit of a diet but still fancy some sweetness. They are SO easy to prep: 10 minutes under a hot-hot grill and you’ve got the perfect mix of pink, oozy, crunchy, runny and sour sweet. Have them for breakfast – drizzled with honey instead of sugar and then topped with crunchy granola as they come out of the oven. Or make them for dessert with brown sugar and some more sophisticated spice flavours.
Serving-wise: half each works if you are entertaining. But if you aren’t, well you know how I abhor waste – so eat both halves yourself. Making sure to grill the second half while you are eating the first. You want it to still be hot and bubbling when it hits your plate.
I am not a fan of cream or ice-cream with citrus – but if you are, serve these lovelies with a thick, sweetened Greek Yoghurt or a good quality vanilla (store-bought is ok) ice-cream.
Now, should you fancy a Grapefruit g’n’t – simply squeeze the grapefruit, mix your g’n’t in a long glass and top it with the grapefruit juice. Stir gently and sip – it tastes of spring and possiblity.
Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit
(if you are making one – just halve the ingredients)
2 red or pink grapefruit
8 teaspoons/32g packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon/3g ground cinnamon or cardamom
2 teaspoons/30g melted butter
1. Preheat the grill and position an oven rack about 3 inches from the heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Cut each grapefruit in half, then trim a thin slice off the bottom so it sits level. With a paring knife or grapefruit knife, cut around each segment; remove any seeds. Place the grapefruit halves on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon (or cardamom) in a small bowl. Brush each grapefruit half with butter, then sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons/8g of the sugar mixture.
4. Broil/Grill the grapefruit, watching carefully and rotating the pan front to back once halfway through, until the tops are bubbling and golden brown, 7 to 12 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, empty yoghurt in a small bowl add granulated sugar (brown is nice) and vanilla and stir gently until nicely combined.
6. Serve each grapefruit topped with a heaping tablespoon of the yoghurt for breakfast. Or with ice-cream if you are having it as a desert.