After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years—La Cuisine: the Cook’s Resource, in Alexandria, Virginia—Nancy Pollard now writes Kitchen Detail, a blog about food in all its aspects—recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food-related issues. She and her husband, the Resident Wine Maniac, have recently moved to Italy.
WE THINK OF raspberries in terms of summer farmers markets, but they are a dependable fruit when you are suffering from the Folorn Hope doldrums. And since, let’s face it, whether they are from the Dark Side of Driscoll or another purveyor, they benefit from being heated. That said, this dessert gratin makes cheerful use of a fruit other than apples and pears. Winter strawberries with their snow-white innards need not apply.
I have tried this with blueberries and blackberries at this time of year, but they are just not as cheerful. These can be done in individual low-sided bakers in ceramic or copper. I have not seen a difference in the results. You do not have to brush the baker with butter; the macerated berries will release some juice while in a hot oven. This recipe is a mash-up from Marmiton.org, Christophe Felder, and Tamasin Day-Lewis’s cookbook Supper for a Song. To make the raspberry flavor really sing, use about ½ teaspoon of the Raspberry Essence from Grasse, France. These essences have a natural instense flavor that will bring out the best in whatever recipe you use them in.
- 4 cups (500gr) fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon (14gr) caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon Triple Sec
- ½ teaspoon Raspberry Essence from Grasse, France
- For the Sabayon:
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- ½ cup (115gr) caster sugar
- Juice of ½ orange
- ½ cup (105gr) heavy cream
- Preheat your oven at its highest temperature if you do not have a broiler.
- Put the raspberries in a bowl and add the sugar, the Triple Sec, and the Raspberry Essence if you have it.
- Allow the berries to macerate while you prepare your sabayon.
- Put a saucepan on filled with water to about 2 inches (5cm) in depth and allow to come to a simmer.
- Put the egg yolks in a heat-proof bowl and add the sugar and orange juice while whisking thoroughly. Then put it on top of the simmering saucepan.
- Whisk this mixture until it becomes slightly thick; It should be like a pancake batter.
- Refrigerate the bowl with the sabayon while you whisk the cream in a separate bowl until it is thick and somewhat stiff.
- Fold the whipped cream into the sabayon mixture.
- Divide the berries among 4 individual shallow bakers.
- Lightly top each baker with the sabayon mixture. You do not have to spread it; it will level out in the oven.
- Put the bakers on a baking sheet in the preheated oven and allow to bake until they are lightly browned on the edges, but still pale in the middle.
- The berries, depending on their ripeness, will throw off a delicious juice, so serve each lucky guest a serious spoon!
- This is a dessert that really should be served as soon as it is browned.
- But you can allow the bakers to cool a bit before serving,
- You can prep the sabayon ahead of the day of serving, but the berries cannot be macerated for more than the minutes it takes to finalize the sabayon.