This is fast. You can put it together after dinner, while the table is being cleared. It does require vigilance, though–you’re broiling close to the element, and, while some blackening is good, you don’t want it all to be burnt. The fruit won’t be cooked, but will be warm from the heat of the topping. As for toppings, I prefer sour cream (it’s quicker to do)–the two toppings produce such different results as to be almost different desserts!

2 – 3 c ripe, soft fruit, such as peaches and/or berries

Whipped cream topping:
1 c heavy cream
2 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 T (brown) sugar

Sour cream topping:
1 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
2 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 T (brown) sugar

1. Preheat the broiler; set the rack as close to the heat source as possible (even 2 inches is not too close).

2. Prepare the fruit as necessary. Cut stone fruit in halves or slices;  large berries, such as strawberries can be cut into thick slices; leave small berries whole. Put the fruit into a baking or gratin dish just large enough to hold it all. (I use a 9-inch cast iron frying pan.)

3. Whip the heavy cream with 2 T of sugar and the vanilla until it is thick and just barely holding soft peaks. Or, combine the sour cream with the milk and whisk smooth. Add the 2 T sugar and the vanilla and whisk again. Pour either topping over and around the fruit. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T (brown) sugar.

4. Broil carefully, allowing the cream to brown all over and even burn in a couple of spots; this may only take a minute or so. Rotate the baking dish during broiling if necessary. Remove and serve.

5. Refrigerate any leftovers–it’s also delicious cold!