Get your fruit on!

Written, cooked and eaten by Andrew Richardson (and friends)

Meat lovers look away now! In this edition of the BBQ Workshop blog we explore the vast world of grilled and roasted fruit.

If there’s one thing that the Queen Vic Market does extremely well is its huge range of fresh fruit and vegetables. From organic to locally sourced produce, there’s always something tasty that can be applied to the barbecue at home.

For the purposes of this article I’ve kept the cooking process extremely simple as well as easy to replicate on your gas-fired barbecue at home. The only stipulation I would make is that your barbie has a lid and a grill (never a hotplate). The reason for this is fairly evident when you think about it in that a lid keeps the heat in, instead of losing it to the stratosphere and the grill lets the air (and heat) circulate around the fruit, therefore creating a much nicer, even and stable cooking environment. Plus, with some of the produce we’ll be cooking up such as the pineapple and the white peach, a certain amount of charring from the grill only adds to the taste and states very loudly that this dish is barbecued!

Right then, down to brass tacks.

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Our handpicked fruity stars today are pineapples, white peaches, Fuji apples and Kensington Pride mangoes. All are in magnificent condition and easily sourced in a very short time from the fruit and veg section of the market.

Our other ingredients that tie the dishes together are Chocolate Spice, Organic Coconut Blend and Masala Chai Sugar from Gewurzhaus, dark chocolate shavings from Koko Black and Dulce (aka Rapadura) sugar from Market Lane Coffee. These items were also very easy to find and all these shops are housed in the Dairy Hall, which is accessible from either Elizabeth or Therry streets. It also adjoins the Meat Hall and one of the fruit and veg sheds, so definitely easy to locate.

Finally, your shopping list should include a good quality vanilla cream, locally made crème fraiche and a roll of aluminium foil. Then chuck in some friends and family to help you eat it all.

If you’ve got kids, their job is to measure out squares of foil, roll them into sausages and finally shape them into rings (much like an egg ring, which you can also use). The foil rings are used to hold the fruit off the grill so it doesn’t burn to an inedible crisp.

Now the technical part:

  • For the peaches, simply cut them in halves and remove the stone.
  • The pineapples can be grilled in slices or whole once the outer spiky skin has been removed.
  • Core the apples, saving part of the core to form a plug, thus preventing the filling falling out the bottom while cooking.
  • Finally, cut the seed-free cheeks from the mangoes and lightly cross hatch the flat side with a sharp knife. Not too deep though, a third to half the depth is fine.

I’ve chosen the particular Gewurzhaus blends for their mix and match qualities and the raw rapadura sugar and the chocolate shavings because they melt beautifully into the fruit. The ice cream and crème fraiche are the final touch that brings it all together and adaptable to all the fine produce we’re cooking up.

My recommendations for the ingredients we have today would be:

  • Peaches = raw sugar + crème fraiche and/or ice cream
  • Pineapple = coconut blend and/or Masala Chai sugar + ice cream
  • Apples = chocolate spice + chocolate shavings + ice cream
  • angoes = coconut blend + raw sugar + crème fraiche or ice cream

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Method:
All fruits mentioned here, apart from the pineapple, require the aluminium or egg ring to separate them from the direct heat of the grill when cooking. You’ll know when the various fruits are ready to eat when they feel slightly soft but springy to the touch. This is especially true in the case of the mango cheeks, which can be easily overcooked if not paying attention.

  • Peaches: Flat side up and fill the stone void with raw sugar. Cook until completely melted. Feel free to lightly char the face before placing on the foil ring.
  • Pineapple: Cook directly on the grill whole or sliced. Lightly sprinkle the spices/sugars after cooking.
  • Apples: Once cored, fill with chocolate shavings (and sultanas if you’ve got any), remembering to plug the bottom. Add a light sprinkle of the chocolate spice to the ice cream when serving.
  • Mangoes: Add the coconut blend and the raw sugar before cooking. Go easy on the sprinkling, as the mangoes don’t take long to cook.

Pre-heat your barbecue before cooking, taking it to anywhere between 180 – 200 degrees Celcius.

Good luck and may the fruit be with you.