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The Sweetness of Marinated Grilled Fruit


Marinading dessert before grilling

Marinades are truly special. They are a way of getting flavor into your dish long before tossing it on the grill. Not only do marinades flavor your meat, fish and vegetables, they tenderize them as well. Adding acid to your marinade, such as lemon juice or vinegar, breaks down some of the proteins in meat. This leads to a juicer and more tender dish. But if marinades work so well with savory dishes, why would they not work with sweet dishes? One of my favorite items to grill is fruit, so let’s explore marinating fruit for the grill!

Sugars work well in marinades and glazes to provide a sweet outside crust when charred. The natural sugars of the fruit are present, so we can hold off on adding too much sweetness. The grill will caramelize the sugars, and too much sugar will burn and stick to your grill. Not a fun clean-up!

Picking your fruit to marinade

Good candidates for grilling are firm fruit. You need a fruit that can withstand the heat and not fall apart on the grill. I find using stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines, and plums work wonders. For today, we will be focusing on pineapple. I love how firm pineapple can hold up on the grill. It also gets those beautiful grill marks on the outside.

As for the marinade, we want an acid, a freshness, a spice, and a sweetness. This will lead to a well-rounded flavor and a sophisticated dessert. Mix one part lime juice, one part honey, and a pinch of cayenne. Add some chopped fresh mint. Mix together and pour over one sliced and cored pineapple, about ½ inch thick. Let the pineapple sit at room temperature for up to an hour.

Preheat your grill and use the hotter side of the coals. Carefully lay out your pineapple and cook one minute per side, sealing in those beautiful grill marks. This all happens pretty fast.

Pull off the grill and serve with good quality ice cream, store-bought pound cake, or granola. Top with more fresh mint and some whipped cream. The smoky heat from the cayenne and sweetness from the honey and natural sugars will dance on your tongue.

Try your own dessert marinade at home. Switching out the pineapple and cayenne for peaches and cinnamon would be a wonderful alternative. Use lemon juice, orange juice, or grapefruit juice instead of lime. The marinade options are endless.

For other great recipe ideas, check out The Kitchen on

Entertaining Gifts

Tracy is an Illinois Poet, Songwriter and Food Blogger who is writing about Unique Outdoor Cooking and Grilling Ideas.

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