Mascarpone Raspberry Gratins
I always seem to have a story don’t I? Well, bloggers are like that…they like stories: to read, to tell, to share and to write about. Somehow there is always a story behind the desserts I make , sometimes it is a long drawn explanation and sometimes something that popped in my head while experiencing one of those stories. Today is no exception…these gratins almost did not happen. Glad they did in the end though because they were mighty good.
Let’s see…it all started last night when B’s mom called and asked if I wanted to go blueberry picking with her in the morning…at the crack of dawn to avoid the heat. Yes, yes, yes….provided there are a few coffee stops along the way please….Then she threw raspberries in the mix so I
jumped fell out of bed! There are a few things that make my heart skip on a hot June morning (well, B. is one of them, of course) and among my favorites are berries, stone fruits and spending a few hours with my mother in law and her stories of my husband when he was wee high. I am about to digress again so I’d better get right on to the rest of the day…
After our little berry picking frenzy (I basically needed her to keep some of my stash in her extra freezer), I pulled in the driveway with a huge basket of raspberries just in time to see one of the twins holding a puppy and walking towards me. Now for those new here (Hello, hello!), we do not have children, we jokingly say that all we have to do is walk next door and borrow C’s twins for the day…or they borrow us, there are days one can’t tell…Anyways… Her husband had sent her to get new tires and she came back with the wrong tires and a "free" puppy (read no shots or tags and probably younger). Her husband was red as a poppy, the kids were beaming and in her usual Southern nonchalance she just walked up to me and said "help us give him a bath"
I spent a good part of the day taking work breaks to go play with the puppy which we finally named Sullivan. At some point we got distracted by the rest of the brood, a cat, another dog and a turtle (yep, they needed another dog like I need another bill) and did not pay much attention to Sully until we heard is whimpering. We turned around and burst out laughing. He had found a way to climb up the crate full of raspberries and was barely holding his balance not to fall off the tiny ledge and take a dive into it. I guess he got a little too impressed with his Cirque du Soleil capacities and fell head first into the raspberries! I ran over and picked him up, all red and happy licking his paws, face and tail. Once back on the ground he ran back to the crate and tried to climb it again! He surely enjoyed his first baptism by raspberries and was ready for a little more!
I did manage to save quite a bit of the berries after the puppy dive (thank God, they don’t weigh much at 8 weeks) and proceeded to make these little Mascarpone Raspberry Gratins. They made me think of Sully: light as feathers, wickedly cute and they really put a smile on my face! The fresh raspberries retain their fresh factor and the cream is rich and smooth without leaving that buttery coating on your tongue.
For the nut topping I have to thank one of my faithful readers, Bina, who sends me the most thoughtful gifts. Last winter, she had sent me an Indian specialty called Chikki, close to a toffee but this almonds, pistachios and cardamom. She emailed saying that her mom had made some more and brought it to the States and she would love to send me some more. Yes please!! So before the stash disappeared completely I did hide a few pieces and crushed them to top the gratins with. She also stitched me the cutest little kitchen towels but I am afraid to get the dirty! To top it all, her packaging is as precious as the gifts…. and since she only lives in the next state over I really hope e get to meet one day soon. Thank you and stop being shy, you are among friends!
Allright, allright, I am done….on to the recipe!
Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your ramequins.
1/2 cup (4 oz) mascarpone, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, the egg and the egg yolk. Whisk until fully incorporated and add the heavy cream. Make sure everything is well combined and divide between your ramequins, not filling them all the way to the top, about 3/4 full. Divide the raspberries among the gratins and set the dishes in a deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with water, half way up the sides of the dishes and bake at 340 for about 20-25 minutes or until they seem to be barely set: still giggling a little when you move the pan but not completely wobbly. They will continue to bake and set as they cool. Let cool and serve either chilled or at room temperature.
Anonymous June 27, 2008 um 8:51 am
Love these. They look and sound delectable. Beautiful photos too!
KJ June 27, 2008 um 9:02 am
Just gorgeous!!! I am adding this to my must try list.
Rachel June 27, 2008 um 9:08 am
Gorgeous Gratins,…love reading your rant..If I may say so 🙂
Anonymous June 27, 2008 um 9:25 am
What lovely, elegant desserts, I can just imagine serving these at a dinner party!
ChichaJo June 27, 2008 um 9:45 am
These look precious! And delicious too 🙂
I can just imagine that puppy’s cuteness…aaaw!
Cannelle Et Vanille June 27, 2008 um 10:52 am
that’s what a call a day filled with fun, nice chat with mother in law, berry pickin', playing with new puppy… and then eating the berries in a wonderful gratin!
Angelica June 27, 2008 um 12:02 pm
Good way to use mascarpone! I never know what to do with it, other than using it in a tiramisù, but I suppose there are plenty of other uses for it.
LyB June 27, 2008 um 12:50 pm
I always love the stories about your neighbors, everyone sounds so friendly and relaxed. I’m glad you could save some raspberries, these cute little desserts sound fabulous!
aforkfulofspaghetti June 27, 2008 um 12:57 pm
Sullivan – great name!
These little gratins – perfect… I once sampled a fruit gratin along these lines many years ago in Brussels. So simple, but absolutely delicious, and great for the summer months.
Dharm June 27, 2008 um 1:23 pm
Now those look simply fabulous! How do you keep churning out these gems??!!!
Patricia Scarpin June 27, 2008 um 1:49 pm
I love reading your stories, Helen. Love it!
And that is a smart puppy, I have to say. I would have dived in that basket, too!
These gratins look amazing. As your photos, as usual, take my breath away!
Clumbsy Cookie June 27, 2008 um 1:56 pm
I love your stories Helen, they provide a soul for your wonderful food. It’s such a nice idea to add a crunchy top on the gratin!
Christy June 27, 2008 um 1:59 pm
I think that you and Sullivan are going to get along just fine–he’s already picked up your love for berries, and even plunged himself into a crateful of them!! I always look forward to your stories,they never cease to delight me!
Heather June 27, 2008 um 2:01 pm
yum! these look delicious! the topping sounds amazing, too!
LizNoVeggieGirl June 27, 2008 um 2:22 pm
Helen, your stories are ALWAYS incredibly joyous to read – never stop posting them!!
Haha, love this "berry picking frenzy" story, especially :0)
Those gratins are gorgeous – period. Yum!!
Avory June 27, 2008 um 2:36 pm
Oh, but I love your stories!
Mari June 27, 2008 um 2:47 pm
I could almost see young raspberry splattered Sully in head, when I was reading your story…fantastic!
Love the recipe too, super easy and very delicious!
Jen Yu June 27, 2008 um 3:03 pm
Now I know what I need to convince you to hop out of bed early in the morning… a promise of a beautiful hike, some raspberry picking, and perhaps my dog’s wet nose on your face? 🙂 I’ll keep that in mind if you should ever visit and stay with us! I just explained to Jeremy that a gratin is not necessarily savory (as in potato with gruyere… oh yum, gruyere…) and showed him the picture of your lovely sweet gratins. He is intrigued and I think I just may have made more work for myself 😉 ha ha ha. Have a terrific weekend, dear. You always make me laugh and smile!
Bonbon Oiseau June 27, 2008 um 3:36 pm
I can almost smell them! Lovely recipe! Now, how do we make Chikki to go on top!?
Manggy June 27, 2008 um 3:44 pm
Omigosh, how do you get them to look so perfect?!?! Awesome dessert and an awesome pic!
Speaking of awesome pics, I can just imagine you picking up the berry-marinated Sullivan off the crate… That would’ve been a sight!
That Girl June 27, 2008 um 5:09 pm
With the raspberries and nuts its basically a granola… right? Super healthy!
Anonymous June 27, 2008 um 5:43 pm
What a lovely recipe. I’d like to try it out sometime.
Sew Bettie June 27, 2008 um 6:20 pm
Yummy! Looks delish!
Sunshinemom June 27, 2008 um 6:24 pm
The puppy put a smile on me too:) Nice post and nicer dessert!
Deborah June 27, 2008 um 6:33 pm
I love your stories – every single one of them! And being a dog lover, it put a big smile on my face. These are absolutely gorgeous, and sound delicious as well!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) June 27, 2008 um 6:45 pm
Sullivan is a great puppy name! And the berries look so luscious — no wonder he liked them.
Suganya June 27, 2008 um 6:49 pm
So what you have a lot of stories to tell. We love hearing ’em. Those ramekins are cute.
Brilynn June 27, 2008 um 8:34 pm
I love that you always have a story!
Peabody June 27, 2008 um 8:52 pm
Oh how I love your recipes that use Mascarpone!!! Keep em coming.
MyKitchenInHalfCups June 27, 2008 um 10:50 pm
Well, your stories are always wonderful (even the sadder ones). This one shines many times over!
Beautiful gratins!! Lucky puppy!
Mrs.French June 28, 2008 um 4:33 am
I love stories served up with decadent desserts.
Beachlover June 28, 2008 um 4:39 am
love you photos,very vibrate:))thanks for sharing this recipe,I’m going to use blueberry instead:)
grace June 28, 2008 um 7:57 am
i want a puppy. and a couple gratins.
lovely post! 🙂
Lore June 28, 2008 um 10:33 am
Love the recipe1 You could make me eat anything as long as there are some berries involved :)).
What a great idea with the partial (wal)nut topping! That makes them look so stylish!
Anonymous June 28, 2008 um 2:35 pm
What a cute story, blueberries, raspberries and a puppy! I think we about to get one as we just lost two of ours in the last 6 months, Scout is sad without buddies. Love the ready when "giggling" instructions. A pleasure as always.
Anonymous June 28, 2008 um 3:07 pm
beautiful!! i love mascarpone with raspberries. mmmm.
cool topping as well.
cookworm June 28, 2008 um 3:08 pm
What a sweet story, it makes me miss my late "big puppy". The gratins look just perfect. I hope we get to see pictures of Sullivan soon!
My Sweet & Saucy June 28, 2008 um 5:48 pm
Look yummy! I love the little ramekins you put it in! Your collection of serving wear just blows my mind!
sra June 28, 2008 um 6:08 pm
The best things about the blogs are the stories. Chikki on these gratins is quite novel, though I must say I haven’t taste mascarpone, don’t get it where I live.
dlyn June 28, 2008 um 6:10 pm
Lovely recipe and a great story to go with it!
Parisbreakfasts June 28, 2008 um 8:00 pm
Adorable story..and adorable ramekins of raspberries..
Any chance of seeing the adorable "Sully"
A bit of puppy PLEASE thrown into the recipe…
Mike of Mike's Table June 28, 2008 um 11:53 pm
Those look spectacular. At first glance, they kind of reminded me of a clafoutis. And [email protected] the puppy story
Anonymous June 29, 2008 um 3:35 am
raspberries and puppies these are just a few of my favorite things!! beautiful photos
Anonymous June 29, 2008 um 4:50 am
When cooking until it jiggles slightly…..the top is still totally white. But your photo has a slight golden color…….
and I love any recipe where the tarte (or gratin) Giggles a bit when deciding to come out of the oven!
Helene June 29, 2008 um 5:17 am
Helen: depending on how your oven runs, your edges will brown the center. I did not say mine were white, I just said they had a slight jiggle to them. I have a convection oven which cooks and browns very fast. As long as you don’t leave them in until they are totally cooked, you should be fine. Hope this helps.
Vanillaorchid June 29, 2008 um 8:52 am
I love this one…it’s cute and I’m sure it’s tasty as well.
I made Cherry Clafoutis from your blackberry & Pineapple Clafoutis, it’s so good. Thank you for sharing the nice recipe.
Anonymous June 29, 2008 um 3:33 pm
Sounds like a perfect day to me! Such a sweet story… and a sweet dessert to top it all off!
Anonymous June 29, 2008 um 6:43 pm
First off: these were REALLY YUMMY!
Very rich & definetly a keeper. Esp as a way to celebrate fruits of the season. I used bosenberries w/ a bit of raspberries. So let’s see (trying to think of other fruits this’d work well w/): peaches, apricots, grapes? what else…….????
I’d taken it out of the oven before browned…..there was therefore a bit of a "sauce".
But I cooked the 2nd longer……due to remodeling, I use a (gasp) toaster oven…..& put what remained of the 1st back in to finish up. Which worked, BTW.
Now I’ve another question: I’m not clear how to use 1/2 a vanilla bean in this recipe, so used extract. Could you 'splain?
Anonymous June 30, 2008 um 9:49 am
What a great story! I love the name and can only second (or thirtyseventh?) the request for a picture – Cute dog in a raspberry "jam" – most have been very precious!
Proud Italian Cook July 1, 2008 um 2:53 am
This is high on my list to try, with just one look at it!
Cecilia July 4, 2008 um 8:51 pm
The gratins look lovely! The color of the raspberries are really stunning.
The story about Sullivan was so heartwarming. I loved how he tried to crawl back into the crate!