Summer is slowly coming to a close. Out of the corner of my eye, on my walk home from work; I spotted an orange leaf on the ground! Yes I know the time is near, but I will take full advantage of the warm sunny days that remain. Basking in some rays and enjoying the fresh air are huge treats. I know in a couple months when us Pacific North Westerners are faced with mist and grey days we will be missing the sun. Although I love days like that, it makes me appreciate the sunshine and breezy days of summer.
Holding on to late summer has made me rush to the markets to be sure I enjoy every last bit of what remains. Late berries, stone fruits, corn, summer squash…I have been cooking and we have been enjoying it all. With all of this going on, I have been experimenting with different ways to enjoy it all. Of all the possible recipes - Bruleed Nectarines has been most enjoyable and quite possibly could not be simpler! If you have ripe nectarines, sugar, and a broiler you are good to go! I could not think of anything that intensifies the flavor of these summer fruits and keeps their beautiful texture. As they warm up in the broiler, the sugar caramelizes, and the juicy interior of the fruit begins to ooze as you scoop into it. I am telling you, this is so good and a show stopper! If the nectarines are still looking perfect I might have to make this again and invite some friends over to enjoy it with us…Although, I could easily devour it all myself!
Bruleed Nectarines (1/2 - 1 whole nectarine per person)
**Note: This recipe works well with peaches too, but I personally like to peel the peaches first as the skin is a lot tougher than that of a nectarine.
Nectarines, halved and pitted
sugar (I personally like turbinado but white sugar works well too)
First, preheat your broiler on high. I arrange my nectarines in either individual baking dishes they fit into, or I lay them on a gratin type baking dish.
Next, coat the cut portion of your fruit with an even layer of your sugar. be sure you get sugar in the crevice of the pit, but do not fill it up with the sugar. Place the your coated nectarines under the broiler keeping an eye on them. I find with ripe fruit in my oven it takes about 5 minutes. But keep and eye on it. You are looking for the sugar and the edges of the fruit to caramelize and be somewhat golden across the top of your fruit.
Finally, remove from the oven and serve. Be careful as the dishes you use will be very hot, but it best to eat and enjoy these right away. If you let them sit a while the sugar that you caramelized will start to disintegrate!