Grapefruit Brûlée

Grapefruit Brûlée ~ turn plain old grapefruit into an elegant breakfast with a sprinkling of sugar and a little intense heat!

Poor white grapefruit, it’s the forgotten citrus. Ever since the super sweet pink and red varieties have come along, it’s gotten the short shrift. But I still like its tart puckery flavor, and it’s perfect for Grapefruit Brûlée. A sprinkling of raw sugar and a few minutes under the broiler transforms the homely white grapefruit into a thing of beauty. The sugar caramelizes on the top while the fruit underneath heats up and the whole thing definitely crosses over into dessert for breakfast territory.

The fun thing is you can do this with all kinds of citrus fruit, both in their rinds, or peeled and sliced, or sectioned. Winter is the time to get the full spectrum of citrus, and I think our bodies crave this bright sunny fruit right now. Whether or not all the juicy vitamin C helps fight off colds and flu is unclear, but it feels like it helps, and that’s half the battle, right?

I was so pleased with the results of my Grapefruit Brûlée that I picked up more citrus to roast… pink and white grapefruit, a tangelo, blood orange, Cara Cara orange, a navel, and even little kumquats. I thickly sliced the fruit and cut the peels off with a paring knife. Then laid them out on a lined baking sheet and popped them under the broiler for about 10-12 minutes until they caramelized around the edges. No sugar topping this time.

Winter Citrus

The closer you can get your pan to the heating element of the broiler the better. The fruit should start to take on color after 10 minutes, but you really should stay right by the oven and check every minute or so.

You’ll be rewarded with hot, juicy fruit that you can eat as is, lay over a salad, or eat with meats or chicken. This would even be great on pancakes, or as a winter topping for yogurt. We ate ours with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but you could sprinkle the fruit with hot pepper flakes, a little sea salt, herbs, or even lavender for a unique side dish. The high heat alters the texture of the fruit, it’s almost mouse-like.

Did you know I have over 100 CITRUS RECIPES on the blog!

5 from 1 vote

Grapefruit Brûlée

Author Sue Moran


  • 1 white grapefruit
  • natural Turbinado sugar or regular sugar


  • Set the oven to broil
  • Cut the grapefruit in half. If necessary trim off a little bit from the bottom to make the halves sit straight. Set them on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar evenly across the top of each half.
  • Set the oven rack on the highest position, closest to the broiler element. Broil the grapefruit until the top is bubbling and starting to turn brown. This can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on how close your pan is to the heat.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Cook's notes

You can either cut the grapefruit sections first, before broiling, or after. The presentation is prettier if you wait.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.



Don’t forget to pin this Grapefruit Brûlée

Grapefruit Brûlée ~ turn plain old grapefruit into an elegant breakfast with a sprinkling of sugar and a little intense heat! #grapefruit #breakfast #citrus #broiledgrapefruit #whitegrapefruit #fruit


Other roasted citrus from around the web ~~

Roasted Winter Citrus / Joy the Baker

Broiled Citrus Salad /The Forest Feast

Broiled Grapefruit/ She Wears Many Hats

Broiled Grapefruit with Honey, Yogurt and Granola / Cookie + Kate

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Broiled grapefruit is a kitchen favorite in the Bijouxs kitchen–and you are so right about plain old grapefruit feeling a bit left out, but just as delicious!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Those look absolutely gorgeous. I never thought to broil grapefruits. It’s also reminding me of summer

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

    i can’t find words nice enough to properly compliment your photos–nicely done! this is a bright, refreshing winter treat!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    So gorgeous and simple, love that drizzle of balsamic!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    grapefruit and brulee? that is genius and i love it and I want it and I need it and you are awesome. good luck with the move! IT will be great

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    January 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Manservant loves grapefruit, but me not so much. This looks marvelous though. My mom used to do these under the broiler but a torch would be so much easier. Good luck with your move.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Silly me. I bought a brulee torch a year ago, and haven’t used it. Why? I dunno. I’ve always wanted to try doing this, because I love grapefruit.
    Good luck on the move. Ugh. I’d hate to think of packing up 15 years worth of stuff, myself.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Hooray for white grapefruit! I love it so. I’ve never tried it broiled, though–maybe that’s what should happen to the last grapefruit sitting in my citrus bowl. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Oh your own grapefruit tree – lucky girl! Good luck with the move – I know you are having so much fun packing. This is a beautiful, simple, delicious idea. I love your citrus photos – they are always outstanding. I like a white grapefruit too and I bet it is amazing with that layer of raw sugar – yummm!!!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Good luck with the move! I haven’t bought grapefruit of any color or variety in a loooong time… shame on me!

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