Sensational summer desserts on the grill

From in-season fruits to homemade Beavertails to beautiful Thai sticky rice, your grill is the key to sweet summer desserts. 

By Diana Ng

Grilled desserts: fruit desserts
Grilled Peach Melba Sundae
Photography by Jeff Coulson
You don't have to run back into the house to check on dessert during a barbecue or outdoor dinner party. Create healthy and delicious desserts effortlessly outside, on the grill.

Peaches
Fresh sweet peaches are the epitome of summer. To prepare for the grill, cut the peaches in half, and remove pit. Grill over medium heat, cut side down, for 2 minutes. Turn them over so they are cut side up. Sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in each peach, and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes. To serve, sprinkle some chopped fresh mint and almonds over peaches.

Try our Tested Till Perfect recipes: Maple-Grilled Peaches or our Grilled Peach Melba Sundae.

Figs
Available late summer to fall, fresh figs are so sweet and fragrant that it doesn’t take much to dress them up for dessert. To prepare, cut a cross -- or X -- on the top of each fig, about half way into the fig. Lightly pry the tops open and place a dollop of honey and mascarpone cheese in each, adjusting the sweetness to your taste. Line figs in a shallow pan, and place on the grill for 3-5 minutes, or until the figs are soft.

Try our Tested Till Perfect recipe: Balsamic Glazed Figs

Bananas
Taste the tropics with grilled bananas. Slice the banana in half, lengthwise, leaving the peel on. Place the banana, cut side down, on a hot grill and grill for 4 minutes. To serve, remove the peel and serve with coconut flakes and ice cream.

Pineapple
There are so many ways to grill a pineapple. If you have a rotisserie on your barbecue, you can roast a whole peeled pineapple rubbed with brown sugar. Alternatively, cut long thick wedges of a ripe pineapple - peeled and cored - lengthwise. Skewer the pineapple wedges with a wooden skewer. Sprinkle with brown sugar and grill for 5-6 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes, or until pineapple softens and juices exude from the fruit.

Try our Tested Till Perfect recipe: Spicy Grilled Pineapple

Dessert pizza
Grilled pizzas have a smoky flavour and ultra crispy crust. For a dessert pizza, grill the crust as usual, then spread over it sauces like strawberry puree or chocolate hazelnut spread, and top with white chocolate chips (it will look like melted mozzarella cheese) and other toppings as desired. Kids will love to direct this project!

Try our Tested Till Perfect recipe: Grilled Dessert French Toast

Sticky rice in banana leaves
For an Asian-inspired dessert your dinner party guests will rave over, make Thai sticky rice right on the grill. Simply make the parcels ahead of time, and finish them on the grill just before serving.

You will need banana leaves, glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, bananas, and a can of black beans. To prep for the dessert, you will have to soak glutinous rice overnight. In addition, rinse and drain black beans for assembly later.

Stovetop: Simmer together on the stove drained glutinous rice, an equal amount of coconut milk as rice, some sugar (about half the amount of coconut milk), and a pinch of salt, for about 10 minutes. Leave the lid on for the rice to steam for an additional 15 minutes.

To assemble: Spread a thin layer of cooked rice over the centre of banana leaf, lay a thinly sliced piece of banana over the rice, and top with another thin layer of rice. Sprinkle a few black beans on top of the rice and fold the parcel up, securing ends with a toothpick. Grill on medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes until warmed through.

Grilled Beavertails
This traditional Canadian dessert can be made on the grill which cuts the amount of fat significantly. Simply take your favorite, fluffiest raw bread dough, and stretch it into a long, thin, oval shape. Brush both sides with a little oil and place on grill for 3 - 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.  Top with popular Beavertail toppings such as cinnamon and sugar, a light sprinkling of sugar with a squeeze of lemon juice, or chocolate and hazelnut spread with sliced fruit.

S’Mores
This traditional camping dessert can easily be made on the barbecue without the twigs and the mess. Sandwich a few chocolate chips or a thin square of chocolate and a marshmallow between two graham crackers. Arrange portion on the grill over low heat, or on the upper rack. Cover, and grill for 3 – 5 minutes, pressing down on the graham cracker to flatten a bit if necessary, until the marshmallows and chocolate melt.




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