Memorial Day Dessert Ideas: Grilled Fruit and Ice Cream


[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

With 33 grilled chicken recipes and 24 more for grilled steak you might want to go easy on dessert this Memorial Day.* That's cool because one of the best backyard cookout dessert recipes I know is not only extremely quick to throw together but it's infinitely adaptable. It's grilled fruit with ice cream.

*Or maybe you don't. Look for more Memorial Day dessert recipes tomorrow!

If you haven't tried this combination, picture this: fruit that's grilled until lightly charred, the sugars caramelized, the slices heated enough that a cold scoop of ice cream begins to melt on contact. Maybe you've amped it up with a boozy glaze or a sprinkle of chopped chocolate.

One of my favorite recipes that does just that is Rum-Glazed Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream. Pineapple is brushed with a glaze of brown sugar, spiced rum, butter, and vanilla, then grilled and topped with vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut flakes. It's a recipe for success, and I'd encourage you to tweak it to your own tastes.


Some Tips

Choose a sturdy fruit. Pineapple works extremely well, and you'll want to grill approximately 1-inch thick slices until they are browned with some light charring. Bananas can be grilled in their skins and apples work well when halved (and even stuffed). Despite its juicy nature, watermelon works too, like in this recipe for Spicy Grilled Watermelon. Slices of mango are perfect grilled and squeezed with some lime.

Go the next step and make the ice cream yourself. A scoop of Toasted Coconut and Lime Ice Cream will amp up the flavors of tropical fruits while Boozy Butterscotch Ice Cream will go nicely with apples or pears. This Scotch Vanilla Ice Cream will pair well with just about any fruit but especially grilled peaches.

Easy toppings for your fruit and ice cream sundaes are chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or flakes of finely chopped chocolate. These sweet, almond-y Florentine Cookies would also be great—just make a batch, let them cool, then break them up into fine shards.

Have you tried grilling fruit? What's your favorite combination? Tell us about it in the comments section below.