Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Strawberries and Custard

A light dessert, with layers of homemade egg custard, macerated strawberries and a little bit of warmed strawberry jam.
A simple, light dessert, with layers of homemade egg custard, macerated strawberries and a little bit of warmed strawberry jam.

Strawberries and Custard

I have sure been enjoying fresh strawberries here lately and at any given time there are usually two pounds in the fridge. Right now I'm seeing Louisiana berries the most in the markets, and they sure are delicious.

Honestly, I don't often do much with strawberries in the way of a recipe. While I enjoy them occasionally in a frozen or layered dessert, a cobbler, pie or cake, or even simply macerated and spooned over a shortcake or a slice of pound cake, I mostly just eat them in their natural state. Add a little homemade egg custard though, and how can you go wrong with that?

Homemade custard is another one of my favorite sweet dishes. I love it baked, or even in a pie, certainly in banana pudding, and even old-fashioned drinking custard, but it's sure a good base with some macerated strawberries spooned over the top too. It makes a wonderful, simple and tasty dessert for when you just want a touch of something sweet. Here's how to make it.

Cut ends off of strawberries and quarter. Rinse and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sugar; add chopped mint and set aside to macerate for up to an hour.

Separate eggs, reserving whites for another use. Whisk together egg yolks, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and flour in a small bowl; set aside. Bring half and half to a near boil and temper the egg mixture with the hot half and half. Transfer egg mixture to saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees F). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; set aside and let cool. Cover with a section of plastic wrap gently pressed to the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate to chill.


Once nicely chilled, whisk smooth before serving. Divide the custard between four dessert dishes. Arrange strawberries on top. Heat strawberry jam and drizzle over berries. Garnish with a mint leaf.


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Recipe: Strawberries and Custard

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 50 min
Yield: About 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups quartered strawberries, about 4 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves, optional
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam, warmed 10 seconds in microwave
  • Fresh mint leaf sprig, for garnish
Instructions

Cut ends off of strawberries and quarter. Rinse and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sugar; add chopped mint and set aside to macerate for 30 minutes or up to an hour.

Separate eggs, reserving whites for another use. Whisk together egg yolks, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and flour in a small bowl; set aside. Bring half and half to a near boil and temper the egg mixture with the hot half and half. Transfer egg mixture to saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees F). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; set aside and let cool. Cover with a section of plastic wrap gently pressed to the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate to chill.

Once nicely chilled, whisk smooth before serving. Divide the custard between four dessert dishes. Arrange strawberries on top. Heat strawberry jam and drizzle over berries. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Cook's Notes: I did my custard in the microwave on high in 30 second intervals, for about 4 minutes total. Either way requires attention, so as not to create scrambled eggs, so continue to stir as you would with a roux. If you find any clumping in your custard, you may press the custard through a fine mesh strainer to save it, discarding any solids. Custard may be prepared in advance, however plan to use it in a few days at most.

Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar Variation: Instead of macerating the strawberries in the beginning with the single tablespoon sugar, heat 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool, then spoon over the strawberries and toss along with the mint. Proceed to prepare custard with 2 tablespoons of additional sugar. May use or omit the jam when layering the dessert.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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