Pampelmousse is the french word for grapefruit (and so much more fun to say, right!?) Nothing brightens like citrus in winter . . . but just say the word “grapefruit” and the mouth puckers in anticipation of that tart tingle. Heating a fruit brings out its sweetness, so I’ve tried broiling three varieties with brown sugar to create a burnt caramel flavor that might offset the pucker.
The “Cocktail Grapefruit” is the smaller of the three, a white-fleshed variety, milder and much more subtle in flavor. The seeds are larger and more plentiful, making it a bit more difficult to seed and pre-cut the segments, but worth the effort. The mid-sized ruby red grapefruit is easy to cut and segment bite-size pieces between thin membranes. The tart flavor is strong and well complemented by the brown sugar. The “Pomelo” is the largest and most stately of the bunch. This was my least favorite because the flesh is not as delicate – better off saving it for salads. However, it’s the most surprising due to its excessively thick skin or pith!
The Victorian Era was famous for silverware that served a specific function for the food being eaten, such as wide-mouthed, deeply rounded berry spoons or spatula-bladed fish knives for lifting off the skin and pushing delicate bites on to the fork. Naturally, the grapefruit had its own trowel-shaped spoon for easy removal of the pre-cut citrus segments. I found this sweet grapefruit spoon at a San Francisco Bay Area Kuzak’s Closets estate sale. If silver and crystal are not your bailiwick, don’t overlook the surprising historical breadcrumbs inherent in local estate sales. Kuzak’s Closets posts all sales details several days in advance to their mailing list members, all of whom are eligible to attend special invite only events such as evening pre-sales and weekday estate liquidations. Add yourself to the mailing list here at the bottom of their home page. Amanda’s business runs like a well-oiled machine with a high regard for customer service and is backed by a team that operates more like a family than a company. Amanda Kuzak is also a professional organizer and was featured here on Huffington.
Broiled Pampelmousse with Caramelized Brown Sugar
Slice each grapefruit crosswise in half along its belly. Cut segments loose from their skin, removing all seeds. Sprinkle tops of each half with golden brown sugar. Broil in a baking dish on the middle oven rack for five to eight minutes. Sugar should be well caramelized without burning. Be careful: the pomelo will burn more easily since more of its skin is exposed.
Use this green and easy method here to polish silver using only baking soda, boiling water, aluminum foil and a soft cloth.
Laurie Parr Thomas says
This brings back sweet memories. My grandmother used to broil grapefruit and serve them with lovely fluted special spoons, which I have now inherited. I will have to get them out and use them! Beautiful pictures 🙂
Laurie, that is such a lovely story. I believe in using the “good” stuff as every day stuff because it helps us think about that parent or grandparent that gifted them to us. Enjoy your own grapefruit tasting complete with your grandmother’s spoons.