On hot summer days when the grill is going strong and you want to finish your three-burger meal off with something sweet while exerting as much effort as it takes to pour cereal into a bowl (as in… no effort at all), what’s the move for dessert beyond peaches on a pint of ice cream? Step one: Don’t turn off your grill. Step two: Baste those peaches in honey the way they do at Eleven Madison Park.
Okay, well, the version at the three-Michelin-star New York restaurant is a little more intensive. The fruit, which comes second in a sequence of five desserts on the tasting menu, is compressed in a mixture of honey and water then, depending on the fruit’s ripeness (like, if it’s firm or underripe), the fruit is boiled for a few minutes to tenderize before it meets the grill and a basting brush.
But we’re just going to bypass that entire process and pare it down to fruit, your grill, that basting brush, honey, and water.
Number one tip: Make sure you’re using summer fruit at peak ripeness—not too soft and tender, not too tough—to bypass that complex compression method. Just like EMP does, use fruits such as strawberries or apricots, which maintain their shape when heated and have just the right balance of tartness and sugar for the grill to accentuate. But, because your fruit is already ripe and you’re not at a restaurant, just cut the fruit in half, slide it onto skewers so the slices don’t fall through the grates, and put it on a grill on medium-high heat. Brush fruit with a mixture of honey and water. You want to add enough warm water that the mixture is spreadable with a basting brush, but not so watery that it’s excessively runny or drippy. Close the grill lid for a few minutes (around two mins), uncover, and flip the fruit. Then brush again with more of the honey-water mixture and season with flaky salt, such as Maldon. Continue to grill for two to three more minutes and enjoy the light caramelization, slight char, and concentrated sweetness and moisture of honey-basted fruit on the grill.
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