Grilled and barbecued autumn fruit with honey sabayon and thyme

Grilled and barbecued autumn fruit with honey sabayon and thyme

Grill Smoke BBQ
Kris Kirkham

Autumn-time sees an abundance of delicious fruit to enjoy, such as apples, pears and quince. Because these are slightly more robust, they work particularly well grilled on the barbecue. The thyme may seem an unusual edition in a dessert recipe, but its fragrance goes brilliantly with the fruit and sweet honey sabayon.


Quantity Ingredient
1 medium quince
1 large apple, such as braeburn, cox’s orange pippin or ruben
1 large pear, such as packham, comice or anjou
1/2 lemon
2 plums, halved and stoned, such as victoria
150ml runny honey
1/2 small bunch thyme
4 free-range egg yolks
50ml marsala or sweet white wine


  1. Light the barbecue and set for direct cooking.
  2. Wrap the quince in foil. When the coals are ashen-grey, use long-handled tongs to carefully nestle the parcel into them, making sure it’s fully covered with the coals and ash. Close the lid and leave for 40 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Quarter the apple and pear, core them and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over them, rubbing it over the cut surfaces to prevent them from turning brown. Spread out the apple, pear and plums on a large plate and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to dry them slightly.
  4. Pour half the honey and 5 sprigs of the thyme into a small saucepan, along with 2 tablespoons water. Bring to the boil over low–medium heat on the stovetop and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse, then set aside. Pick the leaves from the rest of the thyme, reserving the stalks for the barbecue.
  5. For the sabayon, whisk together the egg yolks, Marsala, thyme leaves and the remaining honey in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly (hand-held electric beaters are good for this) until the mixture thickens and increases in volume; it’s important to keep whisking, so the mixture doesn’t ‘cook’ on the base of the bowl, scrambling the egg yolks. When it’s ready, the sabayon should be light, pale and airy. Reserve and keep warm.
  6. Brush the apple, pear and plums with the thyme syrup. Throw the reserved thyme stalks onto the charcoal to smoke, place the fruit on the grill and close the lid of the barbecue. Cook for 5 minutes or until lightly charred, then turn over and brush with more thyme syrup. Cook the plums for a further 3 minutes, and the apple and pear for about 5 minutes, or until they are all soft and charred.
  7. Meanwhile, check that the quince is cooked through and tender – a knife should glide in without any resistance – then leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing the foil. Cut the quince into quarters and remove the core with a small knife or spoon, then drizzle the quince quarters with thyme syrup.
  8. If the skin of the fruit looks overly charred, just peel it off. Serve with the sabayon and any remaining thyme syrup.
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