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Stonefruit on the grill

Posted by: Bob Hart | 10 December, 2012 - 3:51 PM
Stonefruit. (Photo: Rebecca Hallas)

Our focus this year has been, not surprisingly, on the main courses - the meat, chicken and fish dishes of barbecue.

But when you barbecue, make a point of cooking the entire meal on the barbecue - starting, perhaps, with oysters, scallops, mussels or prawns, progressing through mains, and wrapping up with a grilled fruit course.

Fruit is easy to cook on the grill. And as the stone fruits of summer move into our shops, give them a try.

Start with the large white or yellow peaches from places like Swan Hill. It's early in the season, but those I have grill over the last couple of weeks have been excellent, and they will get even better.

Buy one peach - with the large yellow, which have a touch of acid in the mix, or the large white, which have none - and cut each peach in half, lengthways, removing the stone, to feed two people.

For each half peach, create a foil donut or halo by folling a square of standard foil into a loose cylinder, corner to corner, and twisting it into a circle, twisting the ends together. This will keep the peach upright on the grill when the time comes, and it is a technique that works for lots of fruit - apples and pears, for example.

But first, clean and lightly oil your hot grill, let the oil burn away, and then place each peach half face down on the hot grill. After, say, 2 minutes, carefully lift each half with a spatula and move through 90 degrees. Then, after two more minutes, place the foil donuts on the grill and lift a peach half into each.

Now, sprinkle about a heaped tsp of raw, brown sugar into the hole in each peach, and drop the lid. The sugar will melt and the peaches will bake.

After another 10-15 minutes - timing depends on the ripeness of the fruit, as does the ease with which the stone can be removed - they should be finished.

When they are just starting to soften, carefully lift each peach into a bowl, top with a dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkle with chopped, caramelised nuts - I often use sugar-coated macadamias for this. Magnificent!

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