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Thursday, July 21, 2011

100-Degree Weather? The Perfect Dessert: Fresh Berries With Creamy Custard

Gus doesn't want to venture out into the heat.  He's content to sit at my feet while I blog instead of trying to cajole me into a game of fetch.

This is what we call the "frog-dog" position.  His head is resting on the trestle under the table, but if I get up from my chair to get a better shot (and let's face it, with my lack of photography skills, there is no such thing as a "better shot"), he's going to get up as well and I won't get any picture at all.

The thermostat hit 100 degrees today.

I'm not complaining.

I'm thankful for indoor air conditioning, and an outdoor pool to float in.

However, I'm not going to turn on the oven or the stove for an extended period of time.  Or worse, fire-up the grill.  Stand in front of an open flame?  In this heat?  Nuh-uh, that would be cruel.

Instead, I focused on the blueberries and raspberries that I bought yesterday at the local Farmers Market.

Today's recipe is so refreshing and very easy to make.  It's so quick, you only need a playlist with four songs!

Today's Playlist
  • "In One Ear"......Cage The Elephant
  • "Nothing Short Of Thankful"....The Avett Brothers
  • "Let My Love Open The Door"......Michael Cavanaugh
  • "Sins Of My Youth"......Neon Trees

Fresh Berries With Creamy Vanilla Custard Sauce
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups fresh berries (any type you like--raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, lingonberries, gooseberries or any combo thereof)

Gather your ingredients.

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to boil (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks in a medium bowl.

Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and creamy (about 1 minute).

With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot cream into the beaten egg mixture.

It will become frothy when it is mixed.

Return the egg mixture to the same saucepan and add the vanilla.

Whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thickened.  This will take about 2 minutes.  Don't stop whisking, and do not allow this mixture to boil!  As soon as the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon,  you're done.  Remove the custard from the heat.

Allow the custard to cool slightly (about 15 minutes) before you serve it. If you are making it ahead of time, refrigerate it until serving time.  It doesn't matter whether you serve it chilled or at room temperature, it tastes fabulous either way.

Divide your berries into serving cups.
Spoon the custard sauce over the berries. 

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