After a bubbly afternoon of Champagne tasting in Paris last week, I promised to make this French Berry Gratin recipe with thoughts of that 100% Pinot Noir evoking grilled fruits. Isn’t it incredible how wine tastings can leave you dreaming about accompanying foods?
A fruit gratin is popular in France – probably because it not only showcases the sweetest of seasonal fruits, but it’s also such a quick yet elegant French dessert to whip up in under 30 minutes.
A Perfect Summer Heatwave Dessert
This kind of gratin isn’t to be confused with a Crème Brûlée, where the top has a thick layer of sugar and is burned to form a hard cracking layer on top. I have a classic recipe in Mad About Macarons, but try this Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée – it’s from another planet!
Instead, this gratin dessert highlights the fruits; it’s lightly grilled without the crunch and it has a more liquid form of custard, rather similar to a Crème Anglaise rather than set. That’s why it’s a handy summer recipe to have if you don’t want the oven on too much during a heatwave.
Although I say ‘sweet’, this berry gratin has just enough sugar added but not too much to overpower the natural sugars in the fruits.
It’s on the same lines as this Rhubarb and Strawberry Gratin – have you tried it yet?
I’d normally make this using a vanilla pod/bean but this time I felt like some elderflower to highlight the strawberries. If you’ve tried my Strawberry Eclairs with Elderflower Cream recipe in Teatime in Paris, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
As I’m not lucky enough to have elderflowers around, I cheat with a little cordial (Ikea have one) or syrup (Monin’s is good). However, if you have Elderflower liqueur such as Saint Germain, then that’s great too!
If you’re not into elderflower, then infuse this cream with some lemon verbena – so many variations are easy to dream up for this berry gratin recipe.
Berry Gratin Recipe
Summer red fruit berry gratin, a quick yet elegant French dessert with fresh berries topped with an elderflower cream and toasted under the grill for a couple of minutes.
- 400 g (14oz) mixed fresh berries organic
- 3 egg yolks
- 50 g (1.75oz) sugar
- good pinch vanilla powder (or 1/2 tsp extract)
- 2 tbsp elderflower cordial or syrup (or Saint Germain liqueur)
- 100 g (3.5oz) whipping cream
Divide the mixed berries between 4 ovenproof dishes and spread them out in a single layer.
In a bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy (about 5 minutes). Continue to whisk, adding the cordial/syrup and the cream until well mixed.
Pour over the fruits and place under a hot grill for just 2 minutes until the cream is toasted but not burned. You could also use a blowtorch instead.
Serve immediately - or prepare a couple of hours in advance, chill then reheat in a warm oven at 140°C for about 5 minutes.
There are countless floral variations to this recipe: replace elderflower cordial/syrup with violet or rose syrup. Or replace the syrup with 25g more cream and infuse with lavender or lemon verbena.
Have you made any of the recipes from le blog or fancy making this Berry Gratin recipe? Please do leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons. I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook.
Thanks so much for popping in! Just to let you know I’ll be rather disconnected on my annual travels (as ever, like the French, we leave Paris at this time!) over the next 3 weeks but will try to pop in when I can. Have a lovely summer, wherever you are! Speaking of French Berries, don’t forget to wear a hat!
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