How to CookGrillingSummerFruit

Give Your Apples Grill Marks This Summer

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We partnered with our friends at Stemilt Growers to get you grilling—apples, that is—this summer. Their online resource There's An Apple for That offers a guide to choosing the right apple for your dish, cooking techniques, and recipes.

Grilling season is upon us—and while everyone else is headed down the meat aisle, consider an alternate route and head toward the fruit. It takes to the grill just as well as vegetables or burgers do, whether it's riding a savory wave or carrying those sweet grill marks right to the plate—alongside a mound of whipped cream, even.

Grill, baby, grill!
Grill, baby, grill! Photo by James Ransom

And apples take to the heat especially well—those that are crisp, tart, and tough-skinned, like a Pink Lady or Granny Smith. They'll keep their body, show off grill marks, and make a great side dish or dessert for your next outdoor meal. Softer, sweeter apples, like Red Delicious or Empire, tend to relax too much when grilled, so go easy on those; they're better suited to snacking on raw.

You can slice cored apples in half, brush them with oil or a little melted butter, and put them right on the grill over medium or medium-high heat. Let them go for a few minutes—then treat them just like these avocado halves and fill 'em with whatever you'd like. I'm in the camp of ice cream and cinnamon sugar (like you see above), but you could easily do some vinegary slaw or oozy Brie.

Summer Slaw

Summer Slaw by Amanda Hesser

Ooey Gooey Toasted Cheese

Ooey Gooey Toasted Cheese by savorthis

Depending on how wide your grill grates are, you could go with wedges or rounds for a side dish to steak, chicken, or portobello burgers (you could also grill the halved apples and slice them after for easy handling). Or use a mandoline to shave apples thin, then cover your grill in foil and arrange them so that they'll still get a little color where the grates are. Serve them with chocolate mousse or pile them on thick-cut toasts with cheese and pesto for a quick dinner. And if you just want to warm them and add smokiness, tuck them into a little pocket of foil and place on the cooler side of the grill for a few minutes.


More: Get grilling all kinds of fruit—just follow these guidelines.

All About Grilling Fruit
All About Grilling Fruit

If you're looking for more complex flavors or just want to use up dregs from around the house, give your apples a marinade or a quick bath before they go on the grill.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few variations from our Test Kitchen Manager Josh, whether you're looking for something savory or to amplify those sweet/tart qualities:

  • Brandy, dark brown sugar, cinnamon
  • Red wine, honey, cloves, orange zest
  • Maple syrup, bacon fat, rosemary, cayenne
  • Lapsang souchong tea, ginger, nutmeg, pineapple juice
  • Olive oil, ground fennel seeds, roasted garlic puree, lemon
  • Chicken stock, fresh thyme, celery salt, black pepper

And if you want to sub in grilled apples for raw or cooked in other dishes, try swapping them in for what's called for in these recipes:

Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts

Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts by Amanda Hesser

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Dried Cranberries

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Dried Cranberries by darksideofthespoon

Apple, Bacon, Caramelized Red Onion Sandwiches with Arugula-Thyme Spread

Apple, Bacon, Caramelized Red Onion Sandwiches with Arugu... by em-i-lis

Spicy Apple-Chorizo Hash

Spicy Apple-Chorizo Hash by Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)

Apple and Sage Brown Butter Pork Chops

Apple and Sage Brown Butter Pork Chops by Donna

Apple and Fennel Soup

Apple and Fennel Soup by Beth Kirby | {local milk}

Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce (and Savory Apple Charlottes)

Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce (and Savory Apple Charlo... by Genius Recipes

Apple and Pork Breakfast Sausage

Apple and Pork Breakfast Sausage by hardlikearmour

There’s An Apple for That is Washington-based Stemilt Growers searchable resource for all things apple, from cooking techniques to recipes. See all their apple varieties, like Granny Smith, Piñata, and Pink Lady, here.

Tags: stemilt, apples, grilled apples