April 23, 2006

Grapefruit Two Ways

The most popular dessert in my flat at the moment is 'Grapefruit Two Ways'. I halve a grapefruit globe through its equator, carefully remove the segments with my handy grapefruit knife, and hack out any membranes left behind to create a nice, grapefruit bowl. Then I replace the grapefruit chunks in the bowl, sprinkle over half a teaspoon of dark brown sugar (or given my current hoard, drizzle over some maple syrup), and pop it all under a hot broiler. The edges of the grapefruit bowl will invariably singe, but the fruit pieces should turn slightly glassy, the tips barely hint at browning, when you slide the halves out of the oven and onto a plate. The idea is to warm the flesh and dissolve the sugar, not brûlée the heck out of it. Eat with the aid of a teaspoon, but don't get greedy and scrape out every morsel of flesh clinging to your pleasing citrus bowl; you've only had grapefruit one way so far.

While the g-fruit (not to be confused with g-spot) is in the oven, boil a little jugful of water and set some rooibos tea to steep. After you've eaten all the chunks of warm, tart-sweet grapefruit, pour the tea into the grapefruit cup, and gently scrapple the walls of the grapefruit with your teaspoon to release any remaining scraps of juicy flesh into the swirling tea. Carefully lift the grapefruit cup to your lips, and sip with pleasure.

There you have it, Grapefruit Two Ways; a palate-cleansing, soul-calming end to a weekday meal. We enjoy using rooibos (redbush), which is grown only in the Western Cape, but is now available all over the States, thanks to its healthful properties. Its mildly spicy taste really dances with the grapefruit, but feel free to be unSouth African and try other herbal teas.

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