Bruleed Grapefruit Segments

Grapefruit was called the "forbidden fruit" long before it was known to be one. Sometime circa 1750, it was described in the Natural History of Barbados and monikered thusly, though it's kind of a mystery as to why. Now this well-loved citrus is forbidden for many because we know that grapefruit and its juice doesn't play well with some 85 different prescription medications. (Seriously, check the list before you indulge . . . some heart meds and birth control are on it. Yikes.)

But if you are lucky enough to enjoy grapefruit without fear, I give you this lovely little dish. It's elegant enough to be served as a light dessert or brunch course. You can use ruby red or pink grapefruit, but I prefer to use white grapefruit because it provides just the right level of tartness to offset the sweetness of the caramelized sugar topping.

If you don’t have a kitchen torch, prepare these in oven-safe ramekins and run them under the broiler for a few minutes until the sugar is just bubbling and golden-brown.

Brûléed Grapefruit Segments  

Serves 4

  • 4 grapefruits
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar 
    1. Cut the peel away from the grapefruits and separate into segments, removing the tough outer membranes.
    2. Arrange segments on a serving plate or in a shallow bowl. Gently pat the surface of the grapefruit segments with a paper towel to remove a bit of surface moisture.
    3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over each portion.
    4. Using a kitchen torch, brulée the sugar until it caramelizes. Serve immediately.
Tip: I like turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) for this because the large crystals don't get wet as quickly and therefore brûlées nicely. But if you don't have it on hand, white sugar or brown sugar will do. Just sprinkle them on in a fairly thick layer to keep the top of the sugar as dry as possible.


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