Grapefruit Brûlée

Grapefruit brûlée is a delightful sidekick for your breakfast-in-bed spreads (ahemm, Father’s Day is June 18th!).  The contrast between the tart grapefruit and sweet, caramelized sugar is magic.   Drizzle with homemade balsamic reduction for a show-stopping dish.  I especially love this recipe because it is effortless, yet the result is elegant.

Play with variations to make it your own:  a sprinkle of sea salt or cinnamon, a splash of vanilla; or make a meal of it by adding Greek yogurt, pistachios, and honey.

And double the balsamic reduction to keep on hand for other uses:  drizzled over a caprese salad, grilled stone fruits, or even vanilla ice cream.

Food La La Recipe:  Grapefruit Brûlée with Balsamic Reduction

Serves:  4


  • Two organic grapefruits
  • 4 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sprigs rosemary


  1. Put vinegar in small saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat down and simmer until it has reduced to ¼ cup (around 8 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Turn broiler on high.
  4. Slice two grapefruits in half crosswise.
  5. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the cut side facing up.
  6. Top each with one tablespoon of sugar, and spread evenly to cover the top of each half. 
  7. Place tray under broiler until sugar browns, rotating tray periodically to evenly melt the sugar.*
  8. Remove grapefruit from oven and put each half in individual bowls. 
  9. Top with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a sprig of rosemary.



Psst!  A few recipe notes:

The first time I made this, I started a sizeable oven fire.  Remember the ruleNever walk away from the broiler!  If it happens to you—grapefruits or otherwise—the keep the oven door closed to suffocate the fire, which will go out on its own.