Broiled Grapefruit

The first time I heard about broiled grapefruit, it sounded too weird to try. My friend George R patiently explained to me how he made it, and how much he loved it. The light in his eyes when he was talking about it should have been a clue. Yet all I could think of was, why would anyone want to cook grapefruit?

Well friends, the answer is the same for why someone would want to eat hot cereal instead of cold. It tastes good! Of course it took me over 5 decades to figure it out. Funny thing about food prejudices; they hurt no one but yourself.

Grapefruit is as delicious hot as it is cold, even better hot on a cold day. Try it! Sprinkle half a grapefruit with a little brown sugar and place it under the broiler for a few minutes; it couldn’t be easier to make. You just broil it until the sugar begins to bubble and caramelize a little, melting into the tangy grapefruit beneath.

Perfect for a warm breakfast on a chilly day.

Broiled Grapefruit Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 to 2 grapefruit halves per person.

If you want your grapefruit a little more browned than what is shown here, just leave it in the broiler a little longer, or broil it a little closer to the element.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 grapefruits, red or yellow, cut in half (cut through the middle, not the stem end or blossom end of the grapefruit)
  • Brown sugar, 2 to 3 teaspoons per grapefruit half

Method

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1 To make it easier for the grapefruit halves to sit in the pan, you may want to cut 1/4 inch off the bottom of each half, so they don't wobble. To make it easier to remove the grapefruit segments with a spoon once the grapefruit is cooked, use a sharp paring knife to cut around the edges of the fruit, where the fruit meets the rind. Then gently cut inside the grapefruit, along the edges of the segments. Don't cut all the way through the grapefruit, just to the rind if you can.

broiled-grapefruit-4 broiled-grapefruit-3

2 Line a broiling or roasting pan with foil or parchment paper (foil works better, doesn't burn). Place the grapefruit halves, cut side up in the pan. Spread brown sugar over the top of the exposed fruit (not the rind), about 2 to 3 teaspoons of brown sugar per half (more or less to taste). Yellow grapefruit tends to be more sour than ruby red grapefruit, so you may want to use more sugar for yellow than for red grapefruit.

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3 Place under a broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until the brown sugar is bubbly and beginning to brown and caramelize. Remove from oven. Let cool for a minute. Eat while still warm.

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Links:

Grapefruit margarita from La Cocina de Leslie

Grapefruit sorbet from She Wears Many Hats

Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice from 101 Cookbooks

Broiled Grapefruit on Simply Recipes

43 Comments

  1. Marta@What should I eat for breakfast today

    It sounds weird indeed, but I’ll try :)

  2. Jean

    This recipe brings back recipes. My mom would make this as part of our Sunday morning breakfasts when I was growing up. Sometimes she would a bit of almond flavoring to each grapefruit along with the brown sugar.

  3. Mike

    I wonder how it would be with a little grenadine drizzled on top? That’s what I used to use to sweeten my grapefruit halves.

    • Elise

      Sounds good! If you try it with a little grenadine, please let us know how it turns out!

  4. Flannery

    We make something like this, but we sprinkle rum or rum flavoring on the Brown sugar before broiling. Delicious!

  5. Anna

    A grapefruit knife makes cuttiing and separating the segments even easier. It is pointed at the end and has little sawteeth on both sides. The blade is curved just enough to match the curve of the grapefruit rind, so that little of the fruit is wasted.

    • Elise

      My parents have one of those knives. It does indeed make the cutting a lot easier!

    • m

      Agree! i don’t like gadgets but this one is essential!

      I learned this recipe in home ec. in 7th grade home ec. class, and have loved it since! Guess I should say that’s been nearly 50 years ago!

      • DebH

        Me too! It’s been just the same amount of time ago also. I’ve loved it ever since. Hard to believe so much time has passed, lol!

  6. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I don’t think it’s weird at all!! Can’t wait to try!

  7. Jeanne

    I’m in my mid-80’s and can recall my mother making this and serving it as a first course for a “company” dinner. Everyone loved it. So guess there’s nothing really ‘new’ under the sun. I’d forgotten all about it. Thanks for bringing back memories.

  8. Walter Underwood

    This has been a Christmas morning tradition in our family for decades. But we add about a teaspoon of cream sherry with the brown sugar.

    I broil them in large ramekins. The Corning French White ones are just right. That helps keep them upright and avoids losing any of the wonderful juice overflow.

    We can do two at a time in our toaster oven.

    The last step in eating these is to squeeze the juice into a small glass.

    • Nora

      Or if you’re alone, squeezing the juice straight into your mouth (or maybe that’s just me?).

  9. Bonnie Lippincott

    My first cooking class in High School (1963) we made breakfast. Broiled Grapefruit was the first thing we learned to cook! It was good.

  10. M. A.

    Yes, this brings back fond memories. My mother served this for company dinners as the first course and added regular sherry. Will have to do this soon!

  11. Juliana

    “Funny thing about food prejudices; they hurt no one but yourself.”

    I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this statement! It is so very, very true!

    (The grapefruit looks good too – makes me sad I didn’t get any this morning at the store!).

  12. Happy Valley Chow

    What a fantastic idea! Definitely need to give this a try :)

  13. Amanda B

    I thought this sounded weird when my mom first introduced it to me. I was hooked from the first bite. It’s even better with a tiny dab of butter and a dash of vanilla!

  14. Karen

    It wouldn’t be Christmas morning at my house without this! It’s been a family tradition for years along with homemade cranberry-orange bread, warm from the oven; each slice slathered with apricot butter. Yum!!!

  15. Lila Grimes

    Thanks for this recipe. It used to be a very popular starter back in the late 70’s and early 80’s in the UK but fell out of fashion. I had totally forgotten about it until now. So pleased as I can put it back on the menu again. I used to sprinkle with a little mixed spice or cinnamon too.

  16. Eleonora Matthey

    Do not eat or drink Grapefruit juice if you are taking blood pressure medication. Speak to your doctor first.

  17. Rebecca

    We used to make this when I was a brownie (jr. Girl Scout) back in the 70’s.

  18. Jill Allen

    Due to health problems I am not allowed to eat grapefruit any more. I used to love this recipe. Do you think it would work just as well with oranges?

    • Elise

      Hi Jill, great question! I don’t know if it would work with oranges, but if you try it, please let us know how it works out for you.

  19. Patricia M

    I do this using maple syrup. Also a great combination.

  20. Lynn D.

    My grandfather loved broiled grapefruit. He always added a pinch of salt as well.

  21. Carolyn Smith-Kizer

    Elise, this reminds me of my grandmother–she used to eat these in the 50s–what a memory.

  22. Sandy S

    Funny how a recipe can send us back in time. The day we made broiled grapefruit in our HomeEc class we also made ‘orange toast’ by buttering toast and sprinkling with a combination of grated orange rind and sugar before placing under the broiler. Both of which were very good! Around this time, we girls were being sent home if our skirts were above our knees and there was a big to-do about letting girls wearing pants to school. A few years later I was among the first women to where pants to work at a prestigious advertising company. We were only allowed to where pants if they were part of a suit! Powerful stuff that Broiled Grapefruit, Elise!

    • JD

      Good memories–yes the skirts were nearly down to our ankles but we wore loose sweater and could roll them up at the waist after leaving mother’s sight.

  23. Jenny

    I always stuck a red maraschino cherry in the middle of the grapefruit (after spreading the brown sugar) before putting it under the broiler.

  24. JD

    This is really a very old BC favorite–but you forgot the maraschino cherry for the center!! Of course it is delicious, the bitter taste is gone just wonderful taste throughout. (BC=Betty Crocker)

  25. Karen Larson

    Try adding date crystles and a little grenadine. We have been making it since we had it in Palm Desert in the 60’s.

  26. Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie

    My grandmother used to have half a grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar for breakfast every day as part of some fad diet in the mid-80’s. That’s when I first fell in love with grapefruit. And I am sure that this broiled version tastes amazing. Will be trying very soon.

    And thank you so much for linking to my grapefruit margarita! :D

    • Elise

      Hi Leslie, I loved the sound of that margarita, sweetened with brown sugar syrup. Brilliant!

  27. Chef Jim

    Truly a throwback recipe! It was a popular recipe in the 60’s and frequently served as a first course at dinner parties. It was also touted that grapefruit before a meal helped digest any “fat-laden” dishes that followed and was typically a big part of a lot of the fad diets!

  28. JoAnn

    This is wonderful…as a Innkeeper I serve it on cold winter mornings to our guests who are quite surprised about “Baked Grapefruit” but their taste buds are delighted!! I do drizzle first with honey then, brown sugar and finish with a touch of cinnamon…mmmm…I can smell it now!

  29. Katie A

    Growing up in Sacramento, my mom always served broiled grapefruit on Christmas morning, along with smoked pork chops from the Swiss pork store, scrambled eggs, English muffins and homemade jam. The tradition continues at my house!

  30. Janis

    Just tried this last night. Delicious! I thought the last squeeze of juice into the bowl was the best part, until I licked the grapefruit caramel off the pan. Yes. I licked the pan.

  31. Lisa

    I planted a red grapefruit tree 3 years ago, and this year it delivered 5 nice little grapefruits (my baby is growing up!). Had one of them exactly this way. Nice because I don’t like anything cold on my teeth. delicious. Thanks for the reminder of this old way of enjoying grapefruit.

  32. Sharon McLaughlin

    I’ve broiled grapefruit for years. Try using honey in place of brown sugar. Very tasty!!

  33. Nora

    I love broiled grapefruit. Before I tried it, I really didn’t like grapefruit at all. Now I’m in love with grapefruit, gin, and ginger ale cocktails. Try adding a little grated ginger to the brown sugar when you broil them – it’s wonderful!

  34. Nadine

    Love this recipe. My mom made it for years when we were growing up. Her big addition was a like sprinkle of sherry (not cream sherry) after adding the brown sugar and putting under the broiler. So good. Still my favorite way to have grapefruit.

  35. Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go

    We have a local restaurant near us that uses broiled grapefruit juice in one of their signature cocktails. Sooo good!

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