Mixed Berry Custard
Judith Hausman, Hobby Farms Contributor
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Mmmmm … berries. I love to pick them myself, which I
often can at my CSA farm. My mind buzz turns off, replaced by bee buzz; the
bees are way too busy to bother me. In the quiet berry patch, the focused
search and careful reach for ripe berries is contemplative and soothing. Eat
one and pick three.
Every precious pint is a dilemma: eat them "as is,” hoard them in
the freezer for the winter or bake something delicious right now. They are
almost too special to mess with at all, but recipes like shortcake or this
easier-than-pie custard make a good compromise.
The custard is a little like a cream pie filling and a little also
like a light cheesecake because tangy yogurt is the base. I’ve seen similar
recipes (sometimes with farmers cheese or hoop cheese) in old cookbooks, called
cottage puddings. The eggs lighten the mix considerably, and the sweet,
flavorful fruit balances the tang.
It’s been a great year for blueberries, the raspberries continue
to ripen, and I even saw some strawberries (either still or again!) at the
farmers’ market. Maybe you can even gather wild sunberries, blackcaps or
dewberries from a briar nearby. If you have small amounts of different berries
or even a berry-peach mix (no need to peel the peaches), a custard is a
delightful dessert. (Take care not to use all peaches, as they’ll create to
much juice to let the pudding set.)
This recipe isn’t very sweet, but you can add more sugar if you
like. A sprinkle of brown sugar over top suits me. To make the recipe even
simpler, you can use vanilla yogurt to replace the plain yogurt, sugar and
vanilla extract. It’s delicious served warm or chilled, and you might serve a
couple of plain cookies with the custard to add a little crunch.
6 to 8 servings
- 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) and/or
- 1/4 cup
- 2 T.
- 1 cup
- 1½ tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup
brown sugar (optional)
* To substitute
vanilla yogurt, omit white sugar and vanilla extract.
Preheat oven to 350
degrees F. Wash fruit and gently pat dry. Pour fruit into lightly oiled 8-by-8-inch
flour, nutmeg, sugar, yogurt, vanilla and eggs, and pour mixture over berries.
Sprinkle with brown sugar, if using.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes,
until golden and set. Serve warm or chilled.
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