Most of us donít think of grilling fruit for dessert: Usually the barbecue is retired for the night once the main meal is done. But grilling fresh fruits intensifies their flavors, caramelizing their sugars and turning their flesh soft, lush, and warm.
These kabobs are irresistible, whether you serve them as is, with ice cream, or with the syrup recipe we include, flavored with a haunting medley of exotic spices. Make your dessert a real sensual experience!
6 firm, ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 8 wedges per peach
5 firm, ripe plums, pitted and cut into 8 wedges per plum
10 firm, ripe apricots, halved and pitted
One 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, in their own juice, drained; or about 1/3 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch chunks
36 bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water 30 minutes or more
Bangkok-to-Bali Sweet Syrup (optional, see below)
1. Preheat an outdoor grill, or preheat a grill pan for 3 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Brush the grill rack or pan lightly with vegetable oil. Thread 4 assorted pieces of fruit onto each skewer.
2. Grill the kebabs in batches, turning once, until lightly browned and slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the sweet syrup on the side and/or your choice of ice cream.
Bangkok-to-Bali Sweet Syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 vanilla bean
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1. Place the lemon juice, lime zest, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl.
2. With a small sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise. Scrape out the beans and add them to the bowl, along with the pod halves.
3. Place the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
4. Add the spice mixture to the saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 12 to 15 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and set aside to cool. Pour the cooled syrup into a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Adapted from From Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes, by Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen (Harvard Common Press, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from From Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes, by Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen (Harvard Common Press, 2003).