While we had the grill going…..
I decided to grill up some nectarines to serve over vanilla bean gelato for dessert. In my mind I saw these perfect fresh nectarine slices lightly coated with honey and lime juice, tossed into a grill basket and coming out slightly charred and tender, with a bit of a caramelized finish. In reality, it went a bit differently, but oh my, it was delicious! Here is how it went…
3 fresh RIPE nectarines, washed (I was only making for two people, so you can adjust accordingly)
Honey (as typical for Ms. Creative Recipe, I did not measure – so I am guessing 2 to 3 tablespoons)
Juice from 1 fresh lime (thank goodness nothing to measure here)
Funny story – after I took the nectarines off the grill and was topping the gelato, I spooned up some of the glaze from the foil and said “oh my gosh, this is so good and even kind of crispy chewy, kind of like a candy apple. I hope I can make it again!” Scott said, “did you write down your ingredients?” I said “I only used honey and lime juice, but I didn’t measure, I just poured.” He gave me the look. My advice since I did not measure? Add the honey to the lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste the honey lime juice mixture. If it’s too tart, add more honey. Seriously, that’s a good creative recipe technique to know – taste as you go along!
Slice the nectarines off the seed. This is where I had another detour. I sliced a nectarine in half around the seed, just like I do with peaches, and tried to twist the two halves apart. It was so ripe that it mushed up in my hands and did not come off the seed either! So I just kind of chopped it up in the bowl and captured all the juice. For the other two nectarines, I sliced “wedges” off the seed, then scraped any remaining flesh in the bowl. Mix the honey and lime juice in a small bowl and pour over the nectarines. Stir to coat the nectarines.
Since I had all this juice going on, I had to scrub the idea of just tossing the fruit into a grill pan. Instead, I placed a sheet of “release” foil in the grill pan to contain the juice, hoping the juice would reduce to a syrup.
The grill was already hot (medium heat), so I placed on the grill while the rest of our meal cooked, approximately 20 minutes. I never stirred, shook or moved the fruit. You can see the juices starting to simmer.
When we sat down to dinner, I turned the grill to low for maybe 15 minutes, then removed. The fruit stayed warm and the juices continued to reduce. End result? The juices had reduced and we had a syrup, and the fruit was tender. You know your grill best, so these time and temp combinations are only guidelines.
When I try this again, I will go for a bit firmer nectarine and try without the nectarine juice to see if my original perfect picture is possible. Stay tuned for that. That said, however, I was so happy with the syrup on this version that I would do this again, intentionally mushing up some nectarine for juice to reduce down with the honey and lime.