Maybe you don’t think of using your grill for dessert. You should. There are all sorts of irresistible combinations that only get better on the grill.
Take a classic combination of pound cake with a fruit compote on top. Perfect for a summer night of outdoor dining. A compote is made when fruit is stewed in a type of sugar water with other flavors. When making this compote, change the ingredients according to the seasons. In the colder months, use nutmeg, anise, or cinnamon, with some fruit.
In warmer months, you can make a compote to combine a seasonal fruit, like cherries, with notes of citrus. The use of fresh juice from lemons, or oranges, brightens the mixture. Also, adding some of the zest of the rind. This compote can be spooned over yogurt, granola, or ice cream, for a serving of fruit on a warm morning or evening.
For this dessert, you want to use plain pound cake. This is a great way to use pound cake that has been sitting around for some time. The idea is that you soak the pound cake in a liquid before you grill it. So, if it has started to get a little stale, this method will rehydrate the cake.
Pierce some holes in a piece of pound cake with a fork. Place the cake in a shallow dish with a splash of orange juice for about 5 seconds each side. You don’t want the cake to get too soft. Remove and place on sheet. Dust with some brown sugar.
In a pot, add remaining orange juice and allow to come to a boil. Cook until the orange juice reduces to half the original amount. This will take about 6-10 minutes.
Add cherries at the end of the cooking time. Stir in honey and mint leaves that have been finely chopped.
Heat your grill and place the pieces of pound cake on the grates. Place the side with the sprinkled brown sugar face down on the grill. You can now dust the other side of cake with some brown sugar. Each side of the pound cake should take about 10 seconds.
When the cake is done, arrange on a plate and spoon the compote over the top. You can garnish with another sprig of mint. The garden is exploding with fresh herbs right now. Take advantage of it. Tomorrow will highlight one of my favorite combinations of cherries and goat cheese. Stay tuned.
The Guys’ Cheery Cherry Compote
4 pieces of plain pound cake
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
brown sugar for dusting
the juice of 4 to 5 oranges
3/4 cup cherries pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
handful of fresh mint, chopped
1. Pierce holes with a fork in the pound cake slices and soak briefly in orange juice.
2. Dust with brown sugar.
3. Bring orange juice to a boil and reduce by half.
4. Add cherries, honey and mint leaves. Allow to cool.
5. Place pound cake on grill with the sugar dusted side down. Sprinkle on other side. Grill other side.
6. Arrange grilled pound cake on a plate and spoon compote over the top.