Who can resist the temptation of raspberries fresh from your home garden or local farm?  Well, my neighbors will have to, for one, seeing as I was the first to pounce on our shared garden’s first raspberry harvest.

I had been observing the berries closely for weeks, watching the plants sprout little green buds; seeing those buds grow, forming the fruit’s telltale bumps; and returning to finally see the green blush to pink, then deepen into ripe, plump raspberries.  It was only a matter of time before I could get my hands on the berries and get them into my kitchen.

My first raspberry creation of the summer?  Baked Raspberry Custard.  Elegant, dressed in little white ramekins, yet more rustic than a crème brulee custard.  Slightly sweet from the bruleed sugar crunch on top, with a little sour bite from the lemon zest.  This recipe is a cinch to pull together (read: dump all ingredients into a blender, mix, then pour), but is sure to impress the guests at your next dinner party.  You can also make this dessert backyard-barbeque-friendly by baking the custard in a 9-inch pie dish.

Since this recipe is so quick and easy, I will definitely make this custard again, so I just may have to, ahem, invite my neighbors over to share.  And maybe I’ll let them have next dibs on the raspberry garden…

Baked Raspberry Custard

(adapted from marthastewart.com)

 

¾ cup heavy cream

3 eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

zest from 1 lemon

2 cups fresh raspberries

 

Blend all ingredients, except lemon zest and berries, in a blender until combined.  Stir in lemon zest.  Pour custard into 4 ramekins or one 9-inch pie dish.  Add berries.  Bake at 400 degrees approximately 20-25 minutes, or until custard is set in middle (cooking times may vary per oven).  Remove from oven, sprinkle with brown sugar, and place under broiler until sugar caramelizes.

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