Dessert

Raspberry gratin

This is one of my favorite desserts!

For 3 reasons:

1. Well, its delicious… the obvious reason!!

2. the berries are the star!  And you can switch them out for any of your favoirte  seasonal fruits (OMG cherries…)

3.  the vanilla custard is silky, oh so creamy, and not overly sweet.

And once you make this custard, you’ll be the Queen of custard making!  Its the basic technique you need to make anything from bread pudding, creme brule, flan, creme caramel, chocolate mousse, ice cream, and the list goes on and on….

Oh, I have a fourth reason!

4.  it can be made in a relatively short amount of time.

That’s a pretty important reason in my book.  Because I find most glorious show-stopping desserts, (and this is one of those) , take too much time!

Just make the custard, leave it in the freezer for an hour, and then quickly broil it in the oven before serving. It’s perfect for dinner guests, or anyone you want to impress!

so here goes…

Whisk together 3 extra large egg yolks (i usually use 4 large if i don’t have extra large eggs), with the sugar, cornstach, and a little salt.

pour the milk in a medium sized saucepan, turn on the heat, until the milk is hot, but not boiling.

Add to the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir, and pour back into saucepan.

Whisk, over medium-low heat.  Once its hot, the mixture will start getting thicker.  Once its reached pudding like consistency, you’re done. (usually 3-5 minutes)

Pour the hot custard into a bowl and add 1-2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 Tbs butter.  After letting it stand and cool off for a few minutes, press some plastic wrap into the surface, this will prevent a thick skin from forming on top.

Place it in your freezer for about an hour ( if you’re short on time like I usually am), or place it in your fridge to chill for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Before you’re ready to serve, mix in 1 cup creme fraiche.

Sprinkle half the raspberries over your gratin dish, I use my cast iron skillet.  I looove my cast iron skillet, its so versatile, and super easy to clean!

Then top with the pudding mixture, and sprinkle with the rest of the berries, and some confectioners sugar.

Broil, 4 inches from the flame, for 3 minutes, or until the berries are a bit seared, and you see a few burnt spots of custard here and there.

In my rush to bring this dish out to my friends, I forgot to take a picture of the final product… and it was so gorgeous!!  I’m kicking myself inside!

Enjoy!

Variations: berries and stone fruits would be the best, because they don’t require a lot of cooking and because they taste great with anything creamy: cherries, plums, pluots, apricots, peaches, blackberries, blueberries etc.

Lemon zest is also wonderful (about 1/2 tsp), add  it before you cook the custard on the stovetop.

Ingredients:

3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 T bsp +1 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 -2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup or 8 oz creme fraiche
1 pint or 2 baskets fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting

shallow gratin dish (if you want to use a glass pyrex dish, just make sure you cover the sides completely with aluminum foil, that way it won’t crack under the high temperature of the broiler flame)

This is a recipe adapted from Suzanne Goin’s cookbook Sunday Supper’s at Luques, a favorite of mine.

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