Friday, September 24, 2010

Ginger Cream with Blueberries

As we drift into shorter days and cooler nights, it seems like the right time to adjust our pastry dreams accordingly. After a great season of stone fruit, we are about to leave all that deliciousness behind. I’m still seeing lots of late summer nectarines, plums, berries and a few figs at market but it’s definitely the end of the season for most everything else. So thoughts seem to turn to the comfort of custards and creams as we sense the winds ahead.

This dessert is a light, creamy and fruity transition into autumn. The vibrance of fresh ginger delivers a bright pop of flavor to luscious dollops of cream. The blueberries add just enough tartness to make this dessert slightly irresistible.

Sometimes the transition into a new season can throw us off for a brief time. The shifting of time and light, fruits and vegetables, sights and sounds can be an occasion for pause. But it's also a moment of familiar anticipation of the coming tastes and aromas of a new day. Cheers to an autumn full of inspiration at your table.

Bench notes:
- If your blueberries are super tart, you may need more sugar. If they’re not, you may need a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
- Either component can be made and stored in the refrigerator a day ahead. Just stir the cream to return it to its creamy state and serve.
- The Ginger Cream would also be great with roasted pineapple or banana, fresh mango, peaches, figs or pears. Or a simple side of chocolate cookies.

Ginger Cream with Blueberries
4 – 6 servings

1 1/2 oz fresh ginger (about a 1” x 2” piece)
2 C whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar, divided
2 T + 2 t cornstarch
2 oz (4 T) butter, cut into small pieces
slight pinch of salt, to taste

2 C fresh blueberries
2 t water
2 T sugar, to taste

Peel and cut the ginger into thin slices. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the ginger slices and 1/4 C sugar and bring to a low simmer, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, cover and steep for about a half hour, tasting for strength.

Strain the milk to remove the ginger slices and reheat to a low simmer.

Whisk together the yolks with the remaining 1/4 C sugar. Add the cornstarch and whisk thoroughly until the mixture is light yellow. Slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Return to the heat and bring to a very slow boil, stirring slowly and constantly. Cook for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat and add the butter pieces, stirring until the cream smoothes out. Add a slight pinch of salt, to taste. Pour into a clean container and press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface. Set aside to cool.

Combine the fresh blueberries, water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for just a few minutes until the fruit gets saucy. Set aside to cool.

Layer the cream with the blueberries in a parfait glass or scoop into a bowl.


Lucie said...

I can imagine how great a pairing the ginger and blueberries are--a nice change from yogurt, this looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

YO PS, this I could do with local Maine blueberries and no ice cream maker. Ginger is good for the digestion...and the not so cold "cream" a better choice for those of us for whom the coldness of ice cream is a no-no.

Thanks dear.

Lynnette said...

As beautifully written and photographed. I find autumn peaceful as well.