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Grapefruit Alaska


I’ve picked up the unfortunate habit of buying bags of grapefruit at the grocery store, only to get nowhere near through them before they begin to go squishy. Grapefruit last a good long time in the fridge – I really have no excuse. I do love to eat grapefruit, but rarely have the gumption to segment it properly. First world problems, I know.

So I’ve been making grapefruit marmalade, and looking for new ideas – fortunately grapefruit is the new lemon, popping up in cupcakes and squares and sorbet all over the place. I wondered how it might do with ice cream, and came up with this baked Alaska. So Seventies!

It’s an interesting way to serve dessert – the fruit is scooped out of the grapefruit halves, sauteed with butter and sugar and replaced, like a twice-baked potato. (Grapefruit is interestingly transformed when cooked with butter and sugar.) You then top it with ice cream and meringue, and put it into a hot oven for long enough to brown the meringue without melting the ice cream. Seventies, welcome to the new millennium.

Grapefruit Alaska

adapted from Gourmet, February 1996

2 large pink grapefruits
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1-2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2-1 L vanilla ice cream
3 large egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

Cut the grapefruits in half crosswise and remove all the flesh with a spoon. Roughly chop it. In a small skillet, heat the butter and sugar over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the grapefruit along with any juice that has accumulated, and cook for a few minutes, until soft and slightly syrupy. Divide the mixture back between the hollowed-out shells and refrigerate until cold.

Top each with a large scoop of ice cream and place on a sheet in the freezer while you make the meringue. Preheat the oven to 450F, or preheat the broiler.

To make the meringue, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, adding a bit at a time until the mixture holds stiff, glossy peaks. Spread over each grapefruit half, covering the ice cream. Run under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or bake at 450F for 4-5 minutes, until the meringue turns golden. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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