I cook by the seasons and I grow all my own soft fruits on my allotment. As the season wanes so inevitably the supply diminishes. This recipe came about as a result of the desire to make something out of the small quantities of various soft fruit I had brought back from the allotment one night. It’s a dessert which is relatively simple to put together, and despite being beautifully fruity and creamy is also surprisingly light. It would make an impressive dinner party dessert.
mixed summer fruits (I used predominantly raspberries and strawberries, supplemented with blueberries, loganberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants)
Lightly butter six ramekins. Place the fruit in the ramekins, dividing it evenly amongst them.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the caster sugar. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the bowl with the eggs and sugar. Whisk to combine and continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 150?C (300?F, gas no. 2). Pour the double cream into a saucepan over a medium heat. As it reaches the boil, carefully and slowly pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, whisking the mixture as you do to make a thin custard. Leave for a few minutes to cool slightly before gently pouring the custard over the fruit in the ramekins, again dividing the custard evenly amongst them.
Place the ramekins in a roasting tin with high sides. Carefully pour boiling water into the tray until it reaches half way up the ramekins. Carefully place the roasting tin in the preheated oven and cook the creme brulees for about 35 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Once cool, place the ramekins in the fridge until required.
When you are ready to serve, bring the brulees out of the fridge and sprinkle the Demarara sugar evenly across the top of each custard. Use a blow torch to harden and caramelise the top of each brulee (alternatively place them for a couple of minutes under a pre-heated very hot grill). Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.