Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blackberries Brown Sugar Gratin

Today was a somewhat frustrating day.  I think it has finally dawned on me that you don’t get a spring break in the real world.  Sure you can take vacations and go places, but really, that’s not Spring Break.  It’s nice, it’s just not Spring Break.  So with that lovely, large gray cloud hanging low over an otherwise beautifully sunny day in South Carolina, I decided I needed something very delicious, a little bit unhealthy, and preferably warm and gooey. Here's what came out of that:

What initially made me think of this recipe was Maggie, Ben’s mom.  When I was in Seattle, she introduced me to strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar, a trick she learned while living in Santa Barbara.  And as unpleasing as that initially sounds, it’s incredibly tasty and easy to do.  I had left over sour cream from my fish taco creation episode that I wanted to use before it went bad and instantly thought of strawberries and brown sugar.  Some quick research on goggle proved that it would indeed taste equally delicious warm and for that we could thank the Russians.  Apparently, Russian gratin consists of 3 things: berries, sour cream and brown sugar.  You pop that under the broiler and ta-da. Savory, warm Russian gratin.  And as luck would have it, I had all three things.

I had fresh, dark purple blackberries, another outcome of last Sunday’s run to Trader Joe’s, in the fridge.  So using those, I mixed equal parts of sour cream and berries and divided the mixture  up among 3 ramekins, leaving some room to spare at the top.  I filled this room up with some dark brown sugar pressed through a sieve and popped them under my broiler.

About 4 minutes later (the last few seconds I opened up the oven door), out came 3 gorgeously browned and bubbly little cups of deliciousness.  The tops had gotten almost crispy and candy like, but underneath were warm pools of brown liquid sugar.  The blackberries were juicy and not even warmed all the way through from the broiler.  They still had a cool middle, that went perfect with the warm sugar and sour cream.  It was delicious.  So much so, that I may or may not have eaten 2 of the 3 I made.  And I am exercising a good amount of self control not to gobble the last.  I shall prevail, and probably have the other for breakfast tomorrow morning.  It has berries and dairy, so that works right?  Blackberries, delicious.  Strawberries?  Raspberries?  I can't wait to find out! 

Berry Brown Sugar Gratin

2 parts berries
2 parts sour cream
1 part brown sugar (I went a bit lighter)

Preheat broiler.

Fold berries into sour cream.  Distribute mixture evenly among ramekins or pour into a broiler safe casserole dish.

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top.  (Making it superfine by squishing it through a mesh strainer isn’t a bad idea!)  Pop under broiler.  Watch closely and pull out when sugar on top begins to caramelize.  Mine took about 4 minutes.  Eat immediately, if not sooner!

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