Cremets d’Anjou

Sad that it’s no longer strawberry season, I’m indulging in a little time-shifting this morning as the frost clears from the windows. This recipe is a pretty obscure dessert from the Anjou region of France, and the idea to feature it came to me via Tokyo (www.shewhoeats.blogspot.com) as a way to nestle fresh strawberries in a poof of what looks like snow. It’s easy, and tastes like what it is supposed to taste like: fresh dairy goodness!

Ingredients

13 ounces creme fraiche

2 egg whites

3 ounces sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla.

Directions

Using a whisk, beat 2/3 of the creme fraiche and vanilla. Separately, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Incorporate the creme fraiche by folding with the whisk.

Gently slip the mixture into a shallow mold and refrigerate for two hours.

Prior to serving, unmold the cremet and pour the remaining creme fraiche over it on a serving dish.

Garnish with the sugar and cleaned and sliced strawberries.

 

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Strawberry-Chevre Pie for the Fourth of July!

This dessert has the red and white all over it, but no blue. Don’t hold that against it, though, it’s a wonderful early-July treat for your backyard gatherings. We use the cream cheese-chevre coating on the bottom and side of the pie shell to keep the juice of the strawberries from soaking through the crust. It also lends a nice creaminess to the pie.

Ingredients

6 cups sliced fresh strawberries (1.5 quarts)

4 oz softened cream cheese

2 oz softened chevre

1/3 cup sugar

Glaze

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup water

4 tablespoons strawberry flavored gelatin

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 (9 inch) prepared piecrust

Directions

  1. Slice berries
  2. Mix cream cheese, chevre and 1/3 Cup sugar to make a smooth paste, coat already baked piecrust with mixture.
    1. Mix together the sugar, water, gelatin and cornstarch in a medium large saucepan. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat.
    2. Fold in the sliced strawberries, toss until well coated. Pour into the crust.
    3. Chill until well set. Serve topped with whipped cream, if desired.

 

Goat Cheese Custards with Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup

What a light and creamy end to a great meal!

Makes 4 servings, thanks to David Lebovitz for such a wonderful recipe!
I tried various permutations; milk, cream, and half-and-half, and either works fine. I bake these in small portions, and since the bulk of dessert is fruit, I feel little guilt indulging in the richness of cream, which, of course, yields the smoothest result. If you use milk, they’ll cook somewhat faster, so keep an eye on them. See note at the end for advice on ensuring a smooth end result.

5 ounces (140g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) milk, cream, or half-and-half
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1/8 teaspoon extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
2. Place four custard cups or ramekins in a deep baking dish or pan.
3. Blend together the goat cheese, sugar, milk (or cream), egg yolks, and vanilla for 30 seconds until very smooth.
4. Divide the mixture into the custard cups; each should be a bit more than half full.
5. Add warm tap water to the baking pan, to make a water bath for baking the custards. The water should reach to about halfway up the side of each custard cup.
6. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 to 20-minutes.
7. When done, remove the custards from the water bath and cool completely.

Storage & serving: Custards are best served at room temperature. They can be chilled up to two days in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, then brought to room temperature prior to serving. Top them with sliced berries and drizzle with the red wine syrup that follows below.
Note: Bake the custards until they just stop quivering loosely when you jiggle the pan. Don’t overbake them; if you’re unsure, remove them from the oven before you think they’re done and let them rest covered with foil. That usually does the trick, and they’ll glide gently into baked-custard perfection.

Red Wine Syrup
Makes 4 servings
You could add a speck of cinnamon, black pepper or some seeds from a vanilla bean to this reduction. Just remember that it’s going to cook down, so add a very small amount at the beginning, if you do. This is also a good way to use up leftover poaching liquid from fruit.

1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
3 tablespoons (50g) sugar
1/2 to 1 small basket of strawberries (about 4 ounces, 100g)

1. In a non-reactive skillet, cook the red wine and sugar until the bubbles get thick. Once the syrup is reduced to half its original quantity (1/4 cup, 60ml), remove from heat and scrape into a bowl to cool completely.
2. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries. Toss in syrup, let stand for a minute to two, then spoon onto custards.

UPDATE: You can add almost any flavoring to this custard and have it turn out well. We tried Bolthouse mango puree yesterday, just tossed in an additional egg yolk to help firm up the added liquid. Fantastic. It’s also good with chocolate, caramel, Frangelico, lemon, strawberry jam….I could go on and on!