Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Berry Gratins

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I’m trying to think of new and unique berry recipes. I liked the fresh fruit tartelettes I made, especially the strawberry meringue tartetettes, but I still wanted something new and different.

Flipping through the Cook’s Illustrated Cooking for Two 2010 cookbook I recently bought, I came across this recipe for berry gratins. They looked and sounded tempting. Berries covered in cream with a caramelized sugar crust? Sign me up. I didn’t have any gratin dishes and Cook’s Illustrated recommends baking them in two Le Creuset petite au gratin dishes, which I picked up for only $9 each. The recipe is kind of involved but not difficult. I made them in advance and let them come to room temperature before sprinkling with sugar and broiling. I didn’t have any white wine, so I used sherry instead (the only alcohol we currently have is vodka, sherry, and port; I chose to use the sherry).

These were good, very rich, at least to me. I was unable to eat the whole thing, because of my stomach. I definitely want to make these again.

Berry Gratins
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Serves 2

For the berry mixture:
7 ½ oz (1 ½ c) berries (your choice, mixed or all one type), room temperature
1 tsp granulated sugar
Pinch salt

For the zabaglione:
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbs granulated sugar, divided
1 Tbl dry white wine
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 Tbl heavy cream, chilled

Combine the berries, sugar, and salt in a bowl, gently tossing to combine. Divide the berry mixture between two shallow 6 oz broiler-safe gratin dishes (or in a 3 c broiler safe dish, measuring ~7¼ x 5¼ inches). Set aside.

In a medium glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk, 2 tsp of the granulated sugar, and wine until sugar is dissolved. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is frothy.

Continue to cook, still whisking, until the mixture is glossy, creamy and thickens slightly, with loose mounds forming when dripped from the whisk, ~5 to 10 min. Then remove bowl from saucepan, and continue whisking for 30 sec, to cool slightly. Put bowl in the refrigerator and chill til completely cool, about 10 min.

Meanwhile, place oven rack 6 inches from your oven broiler, and heat the broiler. Combine remaining 1 tsp granulated sugar with the 2 tsp brown sugar in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream to soft peaks, 30-90 sec. Gently fold the cream into the chilled egg mixture with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and no streaks remain. Spoon zabaglione over the berry filled gratin dishes. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top and let sit at room temp until the sugar dissolves, about 10 min.

Place dished on rimmed baking sheet and broil until the sugar is bubbly and caramelized, 1-4 min. Serve immediately.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking for Two 2010

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