Summer Berry Gratin


This lush summer dessert comes together quickly and impresses friends and family.


  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • cup mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)

  • 1 pint mixed berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries

  • Confectioners' sugar for tops


  1. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and sugar.

  2. In another bowl, beat egg and yolk until pale and fluffy. Add dry ingredients slowly; beat until pale and fluffy again, about 2 minutes.

  3. In a small, heavy-bottomed stainless-steel saucepan, scald milk. Slowly add half of it to egg-flour mixture, beating constantly. Add this mixture to remaining milk in saucepan, and cook over a very low flame, whisking constantly. When mixture bubbles and thickens, remove from heat, and continue whisking for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in vanilla and butter. Refrigerate until chilled. (The dessert can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead.)

  4. Preheat broiler. Fold mascarpone into custard and divide among gratin dishes. Press berries into custard. Sift confectioners' sugar over tops and set on a cookie sheet. Broil on top rack until evenly browned, about 2 minutes. Let cool 1 minute and serve.

Cook's Notes

Use four 4-inch gratin dishes for this custard, and make sure the broiler is fully heated before browning the tops.

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