AGA Executive Director and Executive Chef ~ Carrie Balkcom

  • 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract    (do not use imitation vanilla flavoring)

1 cup fresh berries, gently washed, drained, and sweetened to taste (or any fresh fruit in season)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup milk;let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean. If using a vanilla bean, slice the bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream (add whole bean to cream for additional flavor). Bring cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved; remove from heat and remove vanilla bean or vanilla extract.. Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin.

Strain hot cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout; pour into ramekins or custard cups. NOTE: Don’t skip the straining step as it removes any bits of undissolved gelatin and insures a nice smooth dessert. If using a vanilla bean, lightly swirl the cream to distribute the seeds evenly.   Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To unmold and serve, carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a  pan of hot water briefly. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen it from the inside of the bowl. Wipe the outside of the mold dry and place on individual chilled serving plate (topside down). Invert the custard onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin (shake gently to release). Garnish with berries or fruit of your choice.