fruit

Grilled Crispy Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

If you’ve never tasted grilled pineapple, you’ve missed a real treat.

Cut into thick slices, it’s a fabulous side dish for dinners of grilled or roasted chicken, lamb, duck or fish.

But it has a sort of rum-like flavor, so I also think of it as a “solid cocktail.” Which makes it the perfect accompaniment to such items as grilled chicken wings and other savory nibbles. In that case, cut the large slices into cubes and skewer the chunks onto toothpicks.

OR — this dish is so versatile — top each slice with whipped cream, ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese (garnish with some chopped pistachios or mint) and use it as a dessert.

Any way at all — you can’t go wrong.

Grilled Pineapple

  • One whole pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, vegetable oil, melted butter or a mixture of these

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

  • sea salt

  • mint for garnish, optional

Cut the leaves off the pineapple. Remove the outer fibrous rind. Cut the peeled pineapple in slices about 3/4-inch thick. Set aside in a single layer in a pan. Heat the brown sugar, coconut oil, orange juice and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the pineapple slices, turning the pieces to coat both sides. Let macerate for about 45 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or use a grill pan or the oven broiler). Grill the slices for about 4 minutes per side or until well glazed and tender, brushing occasionally with some of the liquid. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Sour Cherry Crisp

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Recently my daughter Gillian brought me some fresh sour cherries. Cherries that are intended for baking, not eating out of hand.

I love sour cherries. In fact I like most foods that are sour -- anything that provides that satisfying pucker in my mouth. 

Mostly, I like sour cherry pie, but I didn't have enough fruit.

Also, I don't have a cherry pitter.

Thanks to some instruction at The Spruce, I learned how to remove the cherry stones using a pastry tube tip, so I decided to make two individual Sour Cherry Crisps.

Notice that the amount of sugar I use is less than what you'll see in most recipes. The point of sour cherries -- for me -- is that they are supposed to be sour, merely mellowed by sugar, not overwhelmed by it. But, by all means, if you like your desserts more on the sweet side, you can add more.

Sour Cherry Crisp

  • 5 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and mix to coat the cherries completely. Spoon the cherries into 4 baking ramekins (or a small baking dish). In a bowl, mix the oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour in the butter and mix to coat the dry ingredients. Spoon equal amounts of the oat mixture on top of the cherries. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

 

Baked Stuffed Pears

We finished all the  baked apples  I made the other day. And not only did I miss having one for dessert last night, I missed the sugary floral fragrance of baking fruit.  Unfortunately I didn’t have an apple left.  But — pears do just as well.  Like these:      BAKED STUFFED PEARS      6 firm pears  1/2 lemon  2/3 cup chopped almonds  1/3 cup sugar  2 tablespoons softened butter, maragrine or coconut oil  2 tablespoons raisins or currants  1-1/2 tablespoons dark rum  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  1/4 teaspoon almond extract  1/2 cup water  ice cream, sorbet or sweetened mascarpone cheese, optional     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel, halve and core the pears. Rub the surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Place the halves in a baking dish, cut side up. In a small bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, butter, raisins, rum, vanilla and almond extracts and mix ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Place equal amounts of the stuffing into the core of each pear. Add the water to the dish. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the cover, baste 2-3 times and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until tender, basting occasionally. Serve plain or with ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese.   Makes 6 servings.    

We finished all the baked apples I made the other day. And not only did I miss having one for dessert last night, I missed the sugary floral fragrance of baking fruit.

Unfortunately I didn’t have an apple left.

But — pears do just as well.

Like these:

 

BAKED STUFFED PEARS

 

6 firm pears

1/2 lemon

2/3 cup chopped almonds

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter, maragrine or coconut oil

2 tablespoons raisins or currants

1-1/2 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup water

ice cream, sorbet or sweetened mascarpone cheese, optional

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel, halve and core the pears. Rub the surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Place the halves in a baking dish, cut side up. In a small bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, butter, raisins, rum, vanilla and almond extracts and mix ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Place equal amounts of the stuffing into the core of each pear. Add the water to the dish. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the cover, baste 2-3 times and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until tender, basting occasionally. Serve plain or with ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese. 

Makes 6 servings. 

 

Granola Baked Apples

There’s a bumper crop of apples in Connecticut this year. Business is booming, orchardists are breathing sighs of relief (last year was an apple disaster). I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled. 
 I hardly ever eat apples, except in the autumn when I get them at the local orchards and they taste like real food that’s been planted in real dirt. 
 So I’ve been eating apples for the past week. 
 And I have started my  pie  baking. Last week I took my annual trip to  Blue Jay Orchards  in Bethel to get 40 pounds of Rhode Island Greenings, my favorite apple for pie. 
 They also had some terrific looking Honeycrisps, just for eating out of hand. And some Macoun, which I like for applesauce.  
 And of course, I bought Cortlands. They were big, beautiful and are the very best for Baked Apples of any kind. Like these: 

  
     
     
  Granola Baked Apples  
     
  6 baking apples such as Cortland  
  half a lemon  
  1/3 cup crushed granola cereal  
  1/3 cup raisins  
  1/4 chopped almonds  
  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  
  1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  
  1 tablespoon lemon juice  
  1/4 cup honey  
  4 teaspoons butter or margarine  
  3/4 cup apple cider or homestyle apple juice  
     
  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the apples and remove the core with an apple corer or small knife, leaving about 1/2” of the core on the bottom. Peel the apples halfway down from the top and rub the peeled surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Put the apples in a baking dish. Mix the granola, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and honey and stuff this mixture into the hollowed out cavities in the apples. Dot the tops of each apple with one teaspoon butter. Pour the cider into the baking dish. Bake the apples for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the apple cider, or until the apples are tender. If the fruit is darkening too quickly, place a small piece of tin foil on top during baking. Serve the apples warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings  
     

   

There’s a bumper crop of apples in Connecticut this year. Business is booming, orchardists are breathing sighs of relief (last year was an apple disaster). I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled.

I hardly ever eat apples, except in the autumn when I get them at the local orchards and they taste like real food that’s been planted in real dirt.

So I’ve been eating apples for the past week.

And I have started my pie baking. Last week I took my annual trip to Blue Jay Orchards in Bethel to get 40 pounds of Rhode Island Greenings, my favorite apple for pie.

They also had some terrific looking Honeycrisps, just for eating out of hand. And some Macoun, which I like for applesauce. 

And of course, I bought Cortlands. They were big, beautiful and are the very best for Baked Apples of any kind. Like these:

 

 

Granola Baked Apples

 

6 baking apples such as Cortland

half a lemon

1/3 cup crushed granola cereal

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 chopped almonds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup honey

4 teaspoons butter or margarine

3/4 cup apple cider or homestyle apple juice

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the apples and remove the core with an apple corer or small knife, leaving about 1/2” of the core on the bottom. Peel the apples halfway down from the top and rub the peeled surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Put the apples in a baking dish. Mix the granola, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and honey and stuff this mixture into the hollowed out cavities in the apples. Dot the tops of each apple with one teaspoon butter. Pour the cider into the baking dish. Bake the apples for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the apple cider, or until the apples are tender. If the fruit is darkening too quickly, place a small piece of tin foil on top during baking. Serve the apples warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings

 

 

Pear Torte

Creative People aren’t usually creative just about one thing. They think in unusual and varied ways about a lot. 
 Like my niece  Rachel , who writes children’s books (such as   Sometimes I’m Bombaloo   and   Justin Case  ) and young adult fiction (such as   Lucky   and   Brilliant  ). 
 She decided she wanted to bake the  Plum Torte  recipe I posted a few months back. But plums aren’t in season now. So she made the cake with pears, and added a little vanilla to the batter, because pears and vanilla, well, it’s a perfect duo. 
 So here’s her recipe. We had this as one of the MANY desserts on Saturday night at her mother and father’s (my brother) annual Hanukkah party. It was DE-LISH! 
 Pear Torte 
 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
 3/4 cup plus one tablespoon sugar 
 1 cup all-purpose flour 
 1 teaspoon baking powder 
 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel 
 1/4 teaspoon salt 
 2 large eggs 
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
 2 ripe pears, unpeeled, cored, sliced 
 lemon juice (about one tablespoon) 
 cinnamon (about 1/4 teaspoon) 
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until creamy and well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon peel and salt and mix briefly to blend ingredients slightly. Add the eggs and vanilla extract beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan. Arrange the pear slices on top, pressing them slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Squeeze some lemon juice over the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until browned, set and crispy. Let cool. Makes 8 servings

Creative People aren’t usually creative just about one thing. They think in unusual and varied ways about a lot.

Like my niece Rachel, who writes children’s books (such as Sometimes I’m Bombaloo and Justin Case) and young adult fiction (such as Lucky and Brilliant).

She decided she wanted to bake the Plum Torte recipe I posted a few months back. But plums aren’t in season now. So she made the cake with pears, and added a little vanilla to the batter, because pears and vanilla, well, it’s a perfect duo.

So here’s her recipe. We had this as one of the MANY desserts on Saturday night at her mother and father’s (my brother) annual Hanukkah party. It was DE-LISH!

Pear Torte

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup plus one tablespoon sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ripe pears, unpeeled, cored, sliced

lemon juice (about one tablespoon)

cinnamon (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until creamy and well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon peel and salt and mix briefly to blend ingredients slightly. Add the eggs and vanilla extract beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan. Arrange the pear slices on top, pressing them slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Squeeze some lemon juice over the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until browned, set and crispy. Let cool. Makes 8 servings