Potatoes and vegetables are generally the go-to sides for most meats, but one often-overlooked option is the grilled apple. Grilled apples pair well with pork, fish, and poultry, bringing a sweet flavor to an otherwise savory meal. Who says the sweets have to wait for dessert?
The secret to a great grilled apple is to choose a variety that has both good flavor and firm texture so that it will hold up well on the grill. Favorites include Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady. These varieties have a strong, tart flavor to balance out any sweet glaze you might want to add, as well as a crisp texture that won’t turn mealy during the cooking process.
Ready to try some apples on the grill? Follow this basic recipe:
- Remove core from apples. If you use an apple corer rather than slicing the apple into pieces, you’ll have nice pretty rings for a delicious display. Remove apple skins if desired.
- Slice apples into 1/2 inch thick pieces or rings. Thicker slices will require longer cooking time.
- Brush both sides of apple with oil or butter to prevent sticking.
- Place on grill for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear.
- Drizzle with glaze if desired; cook for an additional minute per side. Alternatively, you can drizzle with honey and sprinkle with desired seasonings.
Grilled Apple Recipes
There are several ways you can dress up a basic grilled apple. Try one of these options for a delicious side dish your guests can’t stop talking about:
- After grilling, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Make a glaze with maple syrup, brown sugar, apple cider, and cinnamon. Brush glaze onto apples during the last few minutes of grilling.
- Slice apples into wedges and place in aluminum foil packet. Drizzle with caramel and grill for 8-9 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork.
- Create a guilt-free side dish by marinating apples instead of using calorie-laden toppings. Combine orange juice, honey, and fresh herbs (try mint for a refreshing complement to the apple flavor); place apples in marinade for a couple of hours before grilling.
Secrets to Perfect Grilled Fruit
Fruit on the grill is a new concept for a lot of backyard chefs, but keep these pointers in mind and you’ll have perfect fruit dishes every time. Keep a close eye on the fruit while it’s cooking. It only takes a couple of minutes. Brush fruit with oil, or you’ll be scraping it off the grill with a spatula. Try grilling fruit over indirect heat until you perfect your technique. It will be less likely to char that way.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try something new! Grilled fruit may become a new family favorite!