Sunday, September 13, 2009
How to Fire Roast Pears and Other Fruit - Steven Raichlen Recipe
BTW, as a reminder, I am offering a FREE copy of HOW TO GRILL as a prize in a contest I am holding. Please read over last week's blog entry for the details... free, free, free! Click HERE for those details for 1st GIVEAWAY CONTEST - FREE How to Grill Book
OK, on to Dessert!!! There is nothing as spectacular as a dessert coming off the grill. It really separates the grillmasters (or at least the wannabe grillmasters) from the burger and dog cookers. Steven has already given a terrific crowd pleasing recipe for grilled pineapple (You can see my review by clicking HERE). When I saw this one in the book, I really wanted to try it. It seems to combine the best parts of a cobbler and the panache of serving straight from the grill.
Here's what the recipe calls for...
The title of the recipe calls for pears. I also had a couple apples and a couple of peaches in the pantry, so I decided to hedge my bets and see what each would do. The recipe calls for hollowing out a bit of the fruit (without cutting through the bottom). As suggested, I used a Mellon baller to carefully remove about half of the inside pulp. Retain the tops so that you can but them on once you fill the cavity with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, lemon zest, Cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and even RUM!
I roasted these over indirect heat. I also know my grill, and by raising these over the grate a couple inches, the heat evens out better. Works more like a convection oven.
Let me drop in my standard disclaimer about me and recipes...Long time readers of the blog, I am going to start coloring the lettering in the disclaimer, it will be the same for each review, feel free to skip to the standard black colored text...
OK, here's my generic talk about Steven Raichlen and his book...and me... As long time readers know, I am doing my own tribute (rip-off) off the Julie/Julia project, cooking my way through Steven's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. Unlike Julie, I won't be finishing this in a year, but I will be making an item at least once a week.
A word about reprinting recipes... I asked for some advice a few posts back. I understand that it is done, lots of people do it, and there would be no consequences. But, I decided not to reprint any of Steven's recipes from this book. I have several reasons, first and probably most important to readers, I just think that this is a book that should be in every one's library. Buy the book. It is very detailed, comes highly recommended by someone who cooks on the grill often (me), lots of photos, lots of instruction... Darn near idiot proof. But, most important to me, I want to respect the copyright. In another life, I owned a book store. I have met and socialized with authors, and I have a great deal of respect for the effort it takes to produce a work like this. It may take a couple years, but eventually, I intend to make every single recipe in the book. Starting to reproduce the recipes, intending to do them all would certainly offend me as a book seller, and probably Steven as the copyright holder. Buy the book, Amazon has used copies available for under $7. Worth every penny.
OK, back to the recipe... You can find the recipe on page 428 of the book, with 3 pages of photographic instructions. I followed the steps exactly. Surprisingly, each of the fruits finished at the same time. About 40 minutes. They were soft without being mushy, and the flavoring was starting to bubble up.
I served this at the firepit, with a nice white wine and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (as the book suggests!).
And the verdict... Disappointing. I expected apple cobbler, I got a flavorless hot apple. I went back and retraced the recipe, as I could not imagine the goop in the center being so tasteless. I had 4 people at dinner (including myself). All were polite, but all when pressed agreed that the presentation was spectacular, but there was just not enough flavoring.
Beautiful, smelled great, but not enough taste in the goop. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to improve this? I am still looking for more desserts to serve from the grill, but I honestly can not imagine trying this again. Personally, I only had the apple. My wife, and one of my neighbors tried all three. They all agreed that the problem was in the goop, not the fruit.
On a scale of 1 to 5, this only gets a 2, and that is mostly because of how pretty it looks. the taste was a disappointment.
OK, a quick heads up, in the morning I am off to romantic Branson, MO for a quickie. The 14th of September is the day the world celebrates the birthday of Walter Koenig (the original Chekov from Star Trek). But for me and my wife, it is our wedding anniversary. We will be enjoying a dinner cruise, dancing til the wee hours (which for us means about 11:30), some theatre and a couple of unusual nights of dining out. Honestly, I do not think that I will have my blog on my mind. But fortunately a couple of fellow bloggers have offered to fill in with a couple of guest blogs. So everyone come and visit over the next few days, be polite and leave a comment, and I will see you all on Wednesday when I return with more news from my grill.