This recipe is simple to put together, and was one of the most popular starters at the inn in citrus season. We don’t often think of eating grapefruit cooked, but the quick visit under the broiler both softens and sweetens the fruit. The cherry flavor is a great companion.
For my birthday recently, my niece gave me a lovely box of oranges and pink grapefruit from Florida. The fruit was exquisite, and I indulged in many a snack and breakfast. So good. The grapefruit begged its own special dish.
I used my own brandied cherries from last year here, but you can use a jarred Bing or Maraschino cherry and their syrups as well since this is not the season for making the cherries. I’ve used the Fabbri Amarena Italian wild cherries in syrup with great success, but they are pricy and hard to find. Use fresh when they are in season, popped under the broiler with the grapefruit.
You can use the honey or just a bit of the cherry juice under the broiler, or leave the fruit without the extra sweet.
Broiled Grapefruit with Brandied Cherries
- 2 large juicy pink grapefruits or 4 small
- 2 tbsp. or so native honey, optional
- 1 tbsp. or so butter
- Finely ground fennel or anise seeds
- 4 cherries, brandied, fresh, or jarred
If the grapefruits are large, cut them in half at the middle; if small, just cut off the top quarter of the fruit. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut around the edge and middle of fruit to loosen. Remove the middle core if possible.
Drizzle each with about a teaspoon or so of honey if using, more or less according to taste, this is not an exact science, and I seldom really measure these things. This is just a starting point, and it depends on what kind of honey you have. I love really dark honeys, but any honey that you have from your native bee industry will work fine. If you have no local native honey, use what you find in the grocery store, but try to look for one that is from a smaller business, they taste better and you will be supporting a local (somewhere) food producer. You can also use a light maple syrup.
Dot with butter, and sprinkle with just a tiny pinch of the ground fennel seeds, again, to taste, but this dish is best with the spices on the mild side so that the honey flavor can be an equal partner. Place in a baking dish in the middle of the oven under the broiler and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and soft. Add a cherry to the middle of each, brandied if you have them, but you can use any type of jarred or preserved cherry. Spoon on a little of the syrup as well.
If you are lucky enough to have fresh cherries in season, put in place and broil along with the grapefruit. Makes four servings.
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