Monday, October 5, 2009

Grilling Desserts: 101

End your backyard barbeque this fall season on a sweet note. While most of us associate grilling with a juicy burger or great cut of meat, it’s also ideal for making succulent desserts.

While we all love a good s’more, the best desserts for the grill are actually the simplest – fresh fruit. “The direct open flame from the grill caramelizes sugar and brings out the natural flavour in the fruit,” Ted Reader explains, “The result is a succulent dessert that will delight your guests and requires almost no preparation.”

If you want to take the dessert up a notch, marinate your fruit in a mixture of rum or wine. The alcohol will burn off on the grill, leaving a subtle flavour behind.

With harvest time in Ontario approaching, fruits such as pears and apples are in great supply and are also perfect for the grill. Instead of a plain apple pie, why not fire up some grilled apple rings with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apple. Then marinate in a simple mixture of rum, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon. Finally, throw the slices on the grill for a few minutes and wait for them to brown. Pair with ice cream and you have a twist on an old favourite.

Be sure to keep these tips in mind when grilling up the perfect dessert:

· Keep the heat high. Heat acts to concentrate the fruit’s flavour by reducing the water content and caramelizing the sugar.

· Keep it short. You don’t want to burn your dessert. A couple of minutes should be enough for most fruits.

· Keep it simple. Let the grill bring out the natural flavours, don’t go overboard on marinades. Simple vanilla ice cream makes a perfect pairing.

For more information about Ted reader, please visit

About Chef Ted Reader
Ted Reader is an award-winning chef and food entertainer, who’s parlayed his passion for food into a culinary tour de force that includes more than a dozen cook books, shelves of food products, live culinary performances, TV and radio cooking shows and appearances as well as culinary demonstrations, a catering company and teaching.

Known for his pyrotechnic charm and fearless culinary spirit, it’s no surprise that GQ magazine labeled him the “crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin.” The dude just loves to cook!

Ted’s quest for creating “real food for real people” has seen this high-profile culinary barbecue guru demonstrate his flair for grilling in all venues from swanky ball rooms to the Pacific Ocean to a downtown Toronto parking lot. Today, he owns more than 100 barbecues, grills and smokers in all shapes and sizes and never goes anywhere without one in the back of his truck.

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