As you probably already know if you receive our handy newsletter, we are now offering in-person classes at our Lincoln Square location as well as cooking boot camps, with subjects ranging from cooking to baking and grilling! Thanks to the great weather in Chicago so far this summer, we've had lots of successful grilling classes on our outdoor patio. And most of our variety of menus round up the meal with a delicious dessert!
I really enjoy grilling fruit for dessert as fruit is plentiful now that the farmers markets are in full swing. I love grilling strawberries, blueberries, apples and peaches. You may be wondering:how can I grill blueberries? You could make a blueberry-peach cobbler in a cast iron pan on the grill, or just place the blueberries in the cast iron pan, sprinkle with some raw sugar like Demerara, and let them caramelize. Serve them over ice cream or simply drizzle with a balsamic reduction.
We have also grilled oranges, peaches and apples in our grilling classes. I would like to share with you a recipe for Bratapfel (Baked Apples on the Grill with Cinnamon and Sugar). Traditionally, back in Germany where I’m from, this dessert is served during Christmas time, after a rich meal. I choose this dessert in particular, because it’s so easy and fun to make using a cast iron pan on the grill.
Bratapfel is a stuffed apple with walnuts and soaked raisins in rum, topped with Crème Anglaise, a very simple recipe which pairs well with this dessert. I bake them in a Lodge cast iron pan, right on the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, I would recommend using a plate setter. Even on a warm summer night, this dessert is very enjoyable and the best part is, that you can always modify it by adding ice cream for instance, or a balsamic drizzle, and it pairs well with a glass of Riesling or any dessert wine.
Bratapfel (Baked Apples on the Grill with Cinnamon and Sugar)
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 cups raisins
Rum for soaking the raisins
4 medium-sized apples, hollowed out
1 1/4 cups walnuts, rough chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the vanilla sauce:
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups milk
- Place the raisins in a bowl, and add enough rum to just cover. Allow the raisins to soak for about 30 minutes, or until softened.
- Set up your charcoal grill for indirect cooking: Arrange the coals off to one side, or on both sides but not in the middle. (If you are using the Big Green Egg, build the fire as per usual, and insert the plate setter)
- Place the hollowed out apples in a buttered cast iron pan.
- In a medium size bowl mix together the walnuts, the soaked raisins, honey and cinnamon.
- Fill the apples with the fruit-nut filling, and top each stuffed apple with a tablespoon of butter.
- Place the pan on the cooler side of the grill, close the lid, and cook until the apples are soft, 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the apples are baking, prepare the vanilla sauce. In a medium-size bowl combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar, and whisk until smooth and free from any lumps. Whisk in the vanilla bean paste and milk.
- Transfer the mixture to a sloped-sided pan. Cook over low heat, while whisking, until thickened. Take care to not let the sauce boil.
- To serve the dessert, place a baked apple on your plate and drizzle with the vanilla sauce.