Blackberry Puddings with Vanilla Custard [Gluten-free]
I originally had plans for blackberry tarts, with this pudding on top of chocolate ganache and some sweet pastry dough. That tasted OK, but it wasn’t quite there. Something vanilla needed to balance out the rich flavors of the blackberries. Cue these little ramekin pots.
Serving the blackberry pudding this way makes everything significantly easier to serve, eat, and enjoy. Dig your spoon in, and there’s a well of chilled vanilla custard in the center. How great is that? Your guests will initially think it’s just a tiny little dollop on top, but no, these puddings are practically bursting at the seams with custard.
If you want to visualize this, imagine the new Ben and Jerry’s Cores. The vanilla custard is our core in this pudding. The custard also sets up a little bit more than the pudding will, so it’s a nice textural contrast.
And if you want to talk about textural contrast, let’s talk about the caramelized cardamom almonds you can make to top these. That slightly spicy flavor and the big crunch cuts down on some of the sweetness in the pots. (I recommend topping the whole thing with a few blackberries as well, but as evidenced by Blackberry Week, I might like blackberries a little too much).
If you have the option, I used Tahitian vanilla in the custard. I think it pairs better with the fruity flavors of the pudding than something like a Madagascar vanilla would. Up to you, though. Vanilla is vanilla.
The blackberry pudding is the star of the show, though. Let’s not forget about it. It’s lighter than you’d imagine, even with the 4 eggs and stick of butter. It just becomes this very smooth pudding that tastes like sweet blackberries. This won’t be a pudding that reminds you of tart blackberries. I promise.
As far as storage is concerned, these will hold up overnight if you want to make them the day before a get-together. I placed all of mine on a cookie sheet, covered the whole thing in plastic wrap, and kept them in the fridge until it was time to serve them.
And that’s a wrap on Blackberry Week. I hope y’all liked it. Show blackberries some more love than normal this year. They really deserve it.
- 2 6 oz. containers of blackberries
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 eggs
-1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, sliced
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- Place blackberries and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Burst as many of the blackberries as you can with the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Place the puree in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Mix eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl, then place over a pot of simmering water. Continuously mix, and add butter when the mixture starts to warm.
- Stir until the mixture slightly thickens, then remove from heat. Add puree and incorporate completely.
- Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the mixture.
- Leave out for 30 minutes at room temperature before evenly distributing between 8 6 oz. ramekins. Place filled ramekins in the fridge to chill for at least one hour before making custard.
- For the custard, bring milk to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, eggs, and cornstarch until smooth. Add half of the simmering milk to the bowl and mix.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon.
- The mixture will thicken quickly. When it comes to a boil, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool for five minutes at room temperature, then place it in the fridge until the whipped cream is ready.
- Place the whipping cream 4 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla extract in a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Fold whipped cream into custard.
- Place the custard into a piping bag and insert bag into each ramekin, filling the puddings with custard from within.
- After ramekins have been filled, place them back in the fridge to chill.
- To make caramelized cardamom almonds, place sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it melt and begin to caramelize (look for a copper color).
- Stir in almonds and cardamom and remove from heat.
- Spread almonds on wax paper or a Silpat and let cool.
- To serve, garnish each pudding with almonds and a few blackberries, and enjoy.