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.
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.