grapefruit brûlée for brunch

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It’s hard not to miss the piles of plump oranges, mandarins, pomelos and grapefruits at the market. It’s the season to enjoy citrus. Sliced, peeled or squeezed to enjoy fresh juice, these fruits are pretty perfect as they are. But if you’re looking for a little something different and a conversation starter for the brunch or breakfast table, then grapefruit brûlée is something to try. Sprinkled with brown sugar and use either the culinary torch or toss under the broiler in the oven, the sugar caramelizes on top from the heat then hides soothingly warm juicy grapefruit beneath.

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Broiled Grapefruit
1 grapefruit
2 tablespoons brown sugar

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The recipe couldn’t be more simple, you only need two ingredients. Cut the grapefruit in half across the center. Preferably loosen the sections with a knife (it will be easier to eat later). Top each side of the grapefruit with a generous tablespoon of brown sugar. If you have a culinary torch, go for the brûlée as they do in Bon Appetit, otherwise put the grapefruit in a pie pan and place in the oven to broil for roughly five to seven minutes. Keep an eye on it as it will turn almost amber in color and the peel has a tendency to burn. Serve warm out of the oven.


As a variation, try adding fresh shaved ginger, or sprinkle with cinnamon before broiling, or even garnish the grapefruits with chopped mint before serving. It’s fun to be creative and try different options. Another food blog, Cookie and Kate, dished up a lovely version with a few additional ingredients; she added sea salt (or kosher salt), which could really enhance the flavor of the citrus. For brunch I served my new found wonder with plain yogurt drizzled with a bit of honey and topped with homemade walnut almond granola. I love plain yogurt drizzled with honey, it’s in fact a breakfast favorite. Sometimes I add blueberries, pomegranate seeds, or bananas; I love tasting different honey varieties and exploring yogurt brands along with trying different toppings mixed in. I enjoyed the broiled grapefruit best with regular nonfat plain yogurt (versus Greek yogurt which seemed too dense with the citrus) but see what suits your palate best (or what’s in the refrigerator). If honey isn’t your cup of tea, try topping yogurt with natural maple syrup. Neither are really necessary with this dish, the grapefruit is sweet on it’s own and extra sweet from the sugar, honey or maple syrup are an added touch. You can also turn the grapefruit brûlée into dessert, plate it with a scoop of frozen yogurt and it becomes something sweet to enjoy in the evening.

Two ingredients and so easy to prepare, it’s a fun twist to try, and topped with yogurt, it becomes a delicious way to start the morning. Light and tasty additions to a brunch menu, pull up a chair, hope you’ll join me for a bite!

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7 Responses to grapefruit brûlée for brunch

  1. Deb January 24, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    I am also enjoying all the juicy winter citrus! Every last grapefruit I’ve purchased has been sparkling with juice and a pleasure to enjoy. My mom would prepare grapefruit with brown sugar melted under the oven broiler. I had forgotten all about the special breakfast treat, it is so scrumptious!

  2. yumivore January 24, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Gratitude for the note! Grapefruits have been wonderful this year. I only tasted broiled grapefruits recently, but it is a special breakfast treat.

  3. Beth (OMG! Yummy) January 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    What a fun idea! I stopped buying grapefruits cuz hubby can’t eat them but my kids and I enjoy them. I grew up eating them as an appetizer at night, carefully sectioned out and drizzled with a bit of honey. I love the idea of bruleeing these! Just terrific!

  4. yumivore January 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Thanks Beth! What a fun appetizer, I can’t believe I haven’t had it until now, but so glad I did. It definitely got the conversation going around the table.

  5. andy February 10, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    What a brilliant idea Orly! We had it after dinner tonight and it was perfect. Just perfect! Thank you!
    Sorry I missed you on twitter, Yes, love the song from Pink Floyd. I am going thru work transition and that is keeping me away from social networks. Hope to be back there in a few weeks. But will try to leave you a quick note here when we try something else.
    Best regards!
    Kozeta says hi too and thanks for delicious recipes!

  6. yumivore February 10, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    What a wonderful note Andy! Always glad to receive them and always happy to hear from you! How awesome you and Kozeta had a chance to try the broiled grapefruit, it’s so easy to make! Best of luck with your new gig, and will think of new recipes to whip up that will keep you going. Looking forward to seeing you back on Twitter and send my regards. Many thanks for the visit; the recipes and posts are my pleasure, enjoy.


  1. Redzor News - Summer 2013 food trends - June 21, 2013

    […] They are the base to the classic Mexican drink, the Paloma, and are popping up on dessert menus. Grapefruit brulee? Simply sprinkle some granulated sugar on half a grapefruit and place under the broiler for a few […]