First, one quick thing: Happy National Nutrition Month!

I frequently get asked about healthy dessert ideas. It's easy to say "fruit salad", but...come on. We can do better than that. Broiled citrus, be it orange or grapefruit or even lemon, adds a whole other dimension of flavor to what you may currently think of as a 'tart fruit'. By caramelizing the citrus and adding an impressive meringue snow cap to the top, this healthy dessert kicks the ass of any fruit salad I've ever seen. Add some hazelnuts for crunch, and it has all the components that make a dish delicious. Oh, and need I go on about the power of the grapefruit as a beauty food? I think not. 

broiled grapefruit meringue with caramel and hazelnuts 

For extra fun, this recipe also has cardamom that was mixed into the brown sugar to caramelize the grapefruit and a little bit of shredded coconut. 

broiled grapefruit meringue with caramel and hazelnuts 

Caramel Grapefruit with Meringue and Hazelnuts


  • Salted caramel sauce (based on a Pioneer Woman Recipe)
    • 1 c brown sugar
    • 1/2 c heavy cream
    • 4 T butter
    • 1 T vanilla
    • smoked sea salt
  • Meringue
    • 3 egg whites
    • 6 T sugar
    • 1 t lemon juice
  • grapefruit
  • 1 T brown sugar (per grapefruit half)
  • 1/4 t cardamom (per grapefruit half)
  • shredded coconut
  • chopped hazelnuts 


Make the salted caramel sauce by adding ingredients to a small pot on the stove. Whisk for 5-7 minutes and allow to cool. taste test your grapefruit before hand. If it's bitter add a touch of salt. 

To make the meringue, add egg whites to a very clean bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment. Put on medium-low until egg whites become frothy. This mix makes enough for about 6 halves.

Cut each grapefruit in half and cut the base if needed to make level to stand up straight. Detach all of the segments within the half by running an knife all the way around the interior rim of the grapefruit, and then between each section following the small triangle like pattern. This makes for easy scooping later! Sprinkle the brown sugar mix onto the grapefruit. Place under the broiler until it begins to bubble and turn a light brown color. Remove from under the broiler. Dollop with the meringue. To get the peaks (like in the photos), use a knife or fork to dip into the mound and pull sharply upwards. Place back under the broiler for a few seconds, watching closely. Remove when browned. Dust with coconut and chopped hazelnuts. Drizzle with caramel sauce. 


broiled grapefruit meringue with caramel and hazelnuts 
broiled grapefruit meringue with caramel and hazelnuts 

If you want more sweetness and snow caps, I suggest cutting the grapefruit into wedges and following the same procedure (minus cutting the segments). And technically, you could have what seems like way more dessert, with less if you're in a pinch and someone brought a few extra guests.  

broiled grapefruit meringue with caramel and hazelnuts 

Have you ever broiled citrus? What's your favorite thing to top it with?

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.