One of the categories of food that a griller might explore beyond steaks, burgers and chicken breasts is desserts. The most common starter recipe is simply grilled pineapple however this Grilled Pear with Prosciutto and Cheese recipe attempts to push the envelope just a bit further.
A couple of rules first about grilling fruit. For many types of fruit, they need to be cut to expose the “good” stuff inside. For pineapple as an example, cut the tough outer shell off, for pears, simply into wedges and remove the core. Maybe a rule-of-thumb here is to think of the eating experience… think about the texture as you would eat it. The tough outer shell of some fruit is generally not appealing thus removing it might be a decision to make. Meanwhile biting through a pear is ‘normal’ other than eating the seeds and the core.
Another rule is that most fruit, if not all, really only need to be warmed not cooked. Grilling them adds flavour such as a hint of smoke and even colour such as grill marks.
Knowing these boundaries, the next track of thought is thinking of complementing the grill enhanced flavour of the fruit. For this recipe pear is rather juicy and sweet with a soft texture. The sweetness offers an opportunity for some tartness to contrast the pear. In this instance, cheese is the solution. So, thinking physically, pear and cheese don’t really stick together thus they need a bit of help… and this is where the proscuitto comes into play. This magical ingredient helps many different recipes hold together and at the same time, offers a bit of saltiness. So now we have sweet, tart and a touch of salty savoriness.
Grilled Pear with Prosciutto and Cheese
1-2 Pears – Bartlett or Anjou work great
3-4 TB Goat cheese
8-10 Prosciutto slices
500 grams Cranberries – frozen
3/4 Cup Brown sugar
1/3 Cup House of Q Sugar and Spice BBQ Sauce
To make the chutney, place the cranberries, sugar and BBQ sauce in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. The sugar will melt, the berries will soften and there will appear to be too much liquid in the pan. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer and thicken. Press the berries with a spoon to test if they have cooked through and release their pectin which will thicken the mixture.
Once thick, remove from the heat, let cool and place in a sealable container for the fridge.
For the pears, wash and cut into wedges while removing the core. Place a slice of prosciutto on cutting board and place a teaspoon or two of the goat cheese on the prosciutto. Place a pear wedge on the mixture and roll the prosciutto around the cheese and pear. Finish up the remaining pieces.
Prepare your Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grill for direct cooking medium heat. Spritz the grill grates with oil or alternately, brush the prosciutto wrapped pieces with oil. Grill on each side to mark and crisp the prosciutto as well as warm the pear through. If you wrapped the bundles well, the cheese will melt on the inside of the prosciutto.
Place a couple of pieces of the grilled pear on a plate and top with a generous dollop of the Cranberry Chutney. Now that’s a dessert!