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Blueberry Soup With Vanilla Custard Cream

Type: Fruit
Courses: Soup
Serves: 8 people

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 cup 99g / 3.5ozSugar
1/2 cup 118mlHot water
2   Fresh blueberries - see * Note
  (or 2 pkgs (16 oz ea) thawed frozen
2 1/2 cups 592mlVanilla custard cream
8   Fresh mint sprigs
  Vanilla Custard Cream
2 cups 474mlMilk
1   Vanilla bean - split
  (or 2 tspns vanilla extract)
1/4 cup 49g / 1.7ozSugar
5   Egg yolks
  Fruit brandies such as kirsch
  Or framboise - (optional)

Recipe Instructions

* Note: Other berries can be substituted for the blueberries.

To make the Vanilla Custard Cream: Combine the milk with split vanilla bean or extract in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Take the split vanilla bean, if using, out of the milk, scrape out the tiny seeds, and stir them into the hot milk. Discard the bean husks.

Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl for about 2 minutes, until the yolks turn pale yellow. Pour half the simmering milk into the egg yolk/sugar mixture while gently whisking. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place the pan over low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon -- be careful to reach into the corners of the saucepan -- until the cream thickens slightly and coats the spoon. If you have an accurate thermometer, it should read 175 degrees.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir for 1 minute more to cool the mixture. Do not allow the cream to boil, or the yolks will curdle. Strain the cream through a medium-mesh strainer into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to cool. Makes 2 1/2 cups. (It will keep 2 days, covered with plastic wrap.) The custard cream can be flavored with fruit brandies, if desired.

Make a light sugar syrup by stirring the sugar with the hot water until the sugar dissolves. Reserve 32 whole blueberries for decorating the bowls and puree the rest of the blueberries with the sugar syrup in two batches in a blender. Strain the puree through the fine disk of a food mill or a medium-mesh strainer. Chill. (The puree can be made a day or two in advance. The puree gels after about an hour in the refrigerator, so you'll need to put it in the blender just before serving to liquefy it again.)

Ladle the chilled blueberry puree into wide bowls, then slowly ladle the Vanilla Custard Cream over it with a circular motion so it forms a decorative round pattern on top of the puree. Sprinkle the soup with the whole blueberries. Decorate each bowl with a sprig of mint.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

Lynn Thomas on the Food BB


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