Summer Fruit Gratin


I’m often guilty of posting complicated recipes on this blog (as i was kindly reminded by the lovely@Ryanthegirl at the Foodbuzz bash at Fishtail last night *) so today in attempt to redeem myself and celebrate summer you’re getting fruit and custard and that’s it. I did grate some lime zest over the gratin for the extra fancy touch but that’s easy enough. Now I don’t want to hear any whining in the comments, and no calls for foams or sodium alginate or anti-griddle.

I let you play with fire though as this recipe requires you to use the broiler to make the magic happen. You could also use a crème brûlée torch but i have to warn you that third degree burns would make this dessert not as enjoyable, so be careful. And it’s not because i included a fire extinguisher in the list of ingredients that you should feel like you have to use it. It’s a joke for chrissake!!


Now that i freaked you out let me tell you what’s the reward for your bravery. You get summer berries at the height of their goodness surrendering their concentrated juices to that intense heat, all that Jazz gets combined with a sweet custard lightly caramelized on top. The Grand-Marnier in the custard and the lime zest provide the extra zing. And if zing isn’t a word well it should be! Just like a snugget. A crossover between a snuggle and a nugget.. WTH!?

Now isn’t it a nice reward for a dessert that, with poor supervision, has the potential to burn down half of your neighborhood?

* Met up with a bunch of super nice local bloggers last night at an event at David Burke’sFishtail restaurant organized byFoodbuzz and sponsored by Visa signature. Here’s a list of some of the bloggers present starting with High/Low/Food/Drinks who wrote a nice post about the evening. Go check ’em out.

  • Summer Fruit Gratin

    • Serves 4
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    • For the custard:
    • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon Grand-Marnier
    • For the fruit:
    • 3 cups of mixed summer fruits
    • sugar to taste
    • zest of 1 lime
    • 1 fire extinguisher (optional)


  • Bring the milk to a boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Return mixture to the fire and cook until it thickens to a pudding consistency. Stir in butter, salt and Grand-Marnier. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with film and cool in refrigerator. When it’s cool, whisk in the sour cream.
  • When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Or use a torch.
  • Toss the fruits in a little bit of sugar and arrange on gratin dishes. Spoon the custard over the fruit and sprinkle with more sugar. Broil to a caramelized golden brown color and bubbly. Be careful, it’ll be very hot. Grate some lemon zest over the top and serve immediately.
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  • T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    OK, even most of us could pull this off. :-) But don’t give up on the “complicated” dishes either. They’re sure nice to look at, and we might even learn something …

  • Stacey Snacks

    Sorry I missed the fishtail dinner Monday nt.
    Even I can make this gratin!
    Thanks for posting a dummy proof recipe for a change.

  • Giff

    Sounds like a fun evening. This looks and sounds delicious. It might actually make me make dessert!

  • dawn

    I would have loved to hav met all those foodies; all in one room, imagine the recipes we all could create. I hear Bravo TV calling??
    Ok, the use of the broiler is wonderful, I think it enhances the flavors of the fruit.

  • doggybloggy

    arghhhhhh – you did it again – you didnt say what kind of fire extinguisher! Always keeping one ace tucked up your sleeve!

  • Colloquial Cook

    Ahhh mon dieu tu portais une CHEMISE chez Beurk????? {swoon}

    Hein, quoi, une recette de gratin?

  • Olga

    Hi, stranger.
    This looks like a great dish. I’d even eat it withough the custard part.

  • ryanthegirl

    No guilt!!! I love all your recipes, even the ones I could never make myself 😉

    Great to meet you on Monday!


  • Elin

    Hi Zen,
    That was a nice one. I might try with our local fruits and see whether the magic is there :) Thanks for sharing such a great one…but sorry for the neighbor if the fire extinguisher doesn’t work LOL!

  • Jeff

    I have the same problem and find myself posting recipes that require a rocket science degree to follow especially if it is braising or wintery dish. Summer time I tend to focus more on fresh ingredients and salads which are everywhere. Of course I find them boring to write up so I rarely ever do. Must change this….

    Nicely done and people need to get over their fear of fire. It is your friend especially for releasing good flavors…

  • mochachocolatarita

    and my “recipes” are:
    – open the package and eat the content
    – remember not to eat the packaging


    wow! look at you working your 50mm f/1.4 (i want your lens):p

    …and i want a recipe that doesn’t require me to beg in front of city super….

  • Marc

    I wish I had a broiler…

    Just kidding 😉 Great little berries, it must had been really delicioso!

  • pigpigscorner

    This sounds really easy and looks amazing! Can’t wait to dig in!

  • tom | tall clover farm

    So this morning, upon opening the fridge to secure my requisite half and half for my coffee, the figs, blackberries, raspberries, and apricots chimed up, “Uh, so just what do you plan on doing with us, anyway?” Now thanks to a visit to your blog, I have something to tell them. Merci, tc.

  • Karine

    This gratin is so original and it looks delicious!

  • Alejandra

    I happen to love your complicated recipes, but I think this one might find a special place in my heart too!

  • Peter

    Ah, looks like someone else has the Shunju cookbook! I just got it and there are a bunch of things I want to try.

  • Manggy

    A lover of the complicated right here :) Just follow your heart (after you’ve dusted away the bits of cobwebs there… kidding!) is always the right way to go :) That being said, I’d love this gratin unconditionally if I weren’t so jealous of the summer fruit (but then again you are jealous of our summer fruit!).

    But… Snugget? I think you have been inhaling the gas fumes a little too much, ha ha ha :)

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    I love any excuse to get out the torch. I think I might make a version of this for a midnight snack…

  • Hanh

    I now know what to do with all the fruit I bought. As long as it doesn’t involve tossing.. I should be able to make this!

  • matt

    fantastic food, and awesome photography. Loving your blog right now mate.

  • Tartelette

    Your photography is through the roof lately Stephane! And I am loving it!! Summer fruits are so sexy and you made a way to make them even more!

  • http://www, Big Boys Oven

    Just pure elegant, something I defintely can’t live without if you are making it! 😉

  • we are never full

    i had to comment on this. your recipes are not complicated. maybe to the rachel ray crowd it may be. but that’s why i love your stuff – it is different than most blogs. you create beautiful things. they may have a longer list of ingredients than others, but please don’t ever change. for some reason that comment annoyed me a bit. we need more food bloggers like you!!! i think i’ve said that before…

    don’t you dare change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amanda

    That looks gorgeous!