I have been buying a lot of nectarines and apricots lately. I love the smell of nectarines and apricots remind me of all kinds of delicious summer deserts that my Aunty Mona used to make with the fruit from her trees. I would buy peaches too, but the ones that I can get in NYC fall very short of the Peaches that I have eaten in Texas and in British Colombia, so I stick to Nectarines, apricots and, in a month or so, plums.
I often have big plans for my stone fruit….jam, tarts, trifles…but when it comes right down to it I just end up eating them for breakfast and snacks. Awhile back though, I over-bought stone fruit on a week when I was so overworked that I was skipping breakfasts and snacks. At the end of the week, my neglected fruit was looking very sad.
I contemplated making jam for about three seconds, but the weather was in the 90′s and I was so tired that the idea of standing over a stove made want to cry. SO, I sliced the fruit in half, sprinkled it with a bit of brown sugar and put it under the broiler until the top of the fruit had caramelized. In my broiler this takes about 6 minutes. Really I just lurk near the stove and listen for when sizzling noises start to come from the broiler and then I know that it is done.
I ate my broiled nectarine, straight up, in the only air-conditioned room in my apartment. If I’d had mascarpone, or honey sweetened ricotta, or whipped cream, or greek yogurt, or ice cream or lightly sweetened cream fraiche…I would have put a dollop on top, but a topping is certainly not required unless you are serving the fruit as a fancy desert. The broiled apricots went into the fridge, and later found their way into found their way into a Green Salad with Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts and Blueberry Dressing.
So there you have it. Broiled stone fruit can be a snack, a fancy desert, or a salad topping. I might even make a batch again with fruit that has not spent a week sitting on my counter! I hope that you will give it a try too!