Thursday, November 3, 2011

a recipe: fresh raspberry gratins!

I enjoy cooking IMMENSELY. I haven't always- in fact, my cooking is an inside family joke because of some horrible cheddar soup and smoothie-explosion experiences. But after being married and before kids, Jerry and I would cook dinner together every night, making cooking a highlight of my day. After having Roman, the time I spend cooking has become father-son time. Which means that I get some precious alone time while cooking dinner each night. That time is precious to me. It has also become my hobby and I purposely build new recipes with never-been-used or never-been-tried ingredients into our weekly menu each Monday morning so that I can flex my cooking muscles and learn more. This week, I was inspired to try one of Ina's (the Barefoot Contessa) desserts from an episode last week.

IT WAS AMAZING. Holy cow. Explosion of flavor, simple ingredients, one of the richest (but a different "rich" than a chocolate-on-chocolate dessert) things I've ever tasted. I cut the recipe in half for just Jerry and I and we were only able to eat half of our serving. So in other words, cutting the recipe in half could easily provide dessert for 4 unless you have a bigger dessert tooth or larger stomachs.

For those of you who love cooking, desserts, or trying something new, here is one to try! It wasn't hard at all, just took hands-on time for the constant stirring while the egg yolks and sugar were cooking. And yes, it looks exactly like the picture I found online. I was enjoying it too much to think of taking a picture of the actual ones I made. Proof that it was as good as I say it was.




Fresh Raspberry Gratins

Ingredients

  • 8 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup superfine or caster sugar (**instead of buying superfine sugar, just grind your regular granulated sugar in the food processor- or I used my coffee grinder.)
  • 1 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 half-pints fresh raspberries
  • Granulated sugar

Directions

Preheat the broiler for at least 15 minutes, with the rack about 5 inches away from the heat.

To make the sabayon, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water until thick and creamy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk almost constantly, scraping the egg mixture from the bottom of the bowl. Slowly whisk in the Marsala wine and continue whisking over the simmering water for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture is thick and smooth, like a soft whipped cream. It should register about 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Whisk in the vanilla, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Place one snug layer of raspberries in 6 (6 to 7-inch) shallow gratin dishes. (Each of my dishes holds about one half-pint of raspberries.) Spoon enough sabayon over the raspberries to cover them. Sprinkle each one lightly with granulated sugar. Arrange the dishes on 2 sheet pans and place them one pan at a time under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tops of the gratins are lightly browned. Watch them carefully; they burn really quickly! Serve warm.

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