Bruléed grapefruit

It’s time to eat up all the ripe citrus you can get your hands on – it’s grapefruit season!

Grapefruits sometimes get a bad rap because of their tart and occasionally bitter flavor, and for those of us not living in Texas or Florida where grapefruits are most commonly grown, getting an eh grapefruit is fairly common. But good news: eating them in season greatly increases your chances of getting a good one with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. More good news: this recipe can transform even the most mediocre grapefruit into something magical.

This is an easy, fast recipe that would be equally appropriate served at a fancy brunch, a casual breakfast, or as a dessert. Don’t be tempted to skip the cinnamon – it elevates this dish to a whole new level.

If you enjoy reading my nutrition tidbits in almost all of my posts, you know by now how much I like to talk about colors. Brightly colored pigments in fruits and vegetables have two functions: they make our foods beautifully colorful and they contain amazing carotenoid phytonutrients that help scavenge free radicals and fight disease. One category of carotenoids is lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, watermelon, and pink and red grapefruit. Of all the dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the most free radical-fighting power. Grapefruit consumption is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and kidney stones.

In addition to lycopene, one grapefruit contains about 60% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce free radical damage and fight inflammation-related diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

A caution for those taking statins for high cholesterol: grapefruits and grapefruit juice can cause the medication to build up in your body. Talk to your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.

 
 It’s fun to play with fire. Try it sometime.

Bruleed grapefruit
Serves 2

1 large grapefruit
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. Cut the grapefruit in half crosswise, and remove any visible seeds. Place flesh side down on a paper towel to dry the surface for 5 minutes. 
  2. Invert the grapefruit halves onto a plate and sprinkle the cut sides evenly with the cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Use a kitchen blowtorch to melt the sugar and form a golden brown crust over the grapefruit. Alternatively, place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar has melted.
  4. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while the sugar is still hot, cool slightly, and serve.
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2 Comments

  1. February 25, 2014 / 11:14 pm

    Luckily, I usually find sweeter grapefruits. They grow plentiful here in Phoenix as well 😉 How interesting caramelizing them! I'm sold on purchasing a little flame thrower thingy now!

  2. March 4, 2014 / 11:05 pm

    That is lucky! I'm glad I love them even when they're a little bitter because around St. Louis, there's probably a 50/50 shot of getting one that's less than ideal. The torch is such a fun tool and I found myself making more excuses to make creme brulee after getting one. Thanks for stopping by!