Throw that cake on the grate.

By Margaret Eby
May 23, 2019
Antonis Achilleos, Food Styling: Margaret Dickey, Prop Styling: Missie Crawford

Whatever the official solstice tells us, we all know that actual summer happens between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That's the season for sandals, beaches, and, of course, grilling. Maybe you have a nice gas grill in your yard, or a charcoal number you borrow at the park, or maybe you just have a cast iron grill pan. Whatever your equipment, this is the time when grilling your meals feels most appealing. While hamburgers and hot dogs are all well and good, there's something that you might not think about when you're preparing to grill—and that's dessert.

The classic dessert that you can make on the grill, or at least using the heat from the grill, is s'mores. But there's a whole world of grilled desserts out there that you might not have considered, a way to bring together a warm dessert with something sweet and cold, like apple pie a la mode. 

If you've never experimented with grilling fruit before, that's a great place to start. The sweetness of fruit can be enhanced by a little char, like when you put pineapple wedges or peach slices on the grill. Beyond that, you can grill the fruit components in traditional desserts for a summertime twist on the classic. 

Grilled Apple Pie

This Grilled Apple Pie a La Mode isn't literally throwing a slice of pie on the grill. Instead, you take whole apples and put them over the heat until they break down and become tender, about half an hour. Then you put them on some graham crackers that you've brushed with butter and cinnamon and also grilled, and top the whole thing with ice cream. It's the traditional dessert made into something you can pull off at a campsite.

Grilled Banana Split

Another way to incorporate grilled fruit into your dessert game is in this Grilled Banana Split, which has the additional satisfaction of watching a banana skin turn black over the grill's heat. Add ice cream, vanilla wafers, and caramel sauce, and you'll have another interesting riff on an American staple.

Grilled Pound Cake

Sure, you can always just throw whatever prepared dessert you have on the grill for a minute or two to see how it tastes. Grilled Pound Cake is a good choice for this, since the pound cake doesn't have to be homemade for the grill to give it a great depth of flavor. In fact, next time you're headed to a cookout, bringing along a pound cake might be a solid move, just to keep things interesting. Not everyone thinks about grilling dessert—but now you will.  

 

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