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Mixed Grilled Fruits with Crème Anglaise

Mixed Grilled Fruits with Crème Anglaise
Peaches, pears, plums and nectarines are good candidates for grilling over a charcoal fire. After the fruits are brushed with melted butter and then grilled for a few minutes, the natural sugars begin to caramelize from the heat. A spoonful or two of crème anglaise completes the dish. You can also serve the grilled fruits with vanilla ice cream or on their own, without any adornment.

Ingredients:

For the crème anglaise:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the fruit:

  • 2 peaches
  • 2 plums
  • 2 nectarines
  • 2 pears
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

To make the crème anglaise, pour the milk into a nonreactive bowl and place over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan. Add the vanilla bean. Warm until small bubbles appear along the edges of the bowl. Meanwhile, in another bowl, using a fork, beat together the eggs and egg yolks until slightly blended, then beat in the sugar and salt. Slowly stir in the hot milk and vanilla bean.

Return the mixture to the nonreactive bowl and place over but not touching gently boiling water in the pan. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until a thick custard forms and leaves a clear path when a finger is drawn through it, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean and keep the custard hot over the hot water in the pan. Alternatively, let the custard cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. The custard will thicken upon cooling and chilling. You should have about 2 1/4 cups custard.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

To prepare the fruit, cut the peaches, plums, nectarines and pears in half through their stem ends. Cut away the core from the pears and discard the pits from the other fruits. Place the fruits in a grill basket and brush generously on all sides with the melted butter.

Place the basket on the grill rack. Cook, turning once, until the fruits begin to soften and then brown, 3 to 4 minutes on the first side and slightly less on the other side. Transfer the fruits to a serving bowl or platter and serve with the crème anglaise on the side.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Casual Outdoor Dining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1998).