A Light and Cool Summer Dessert

by David Latt
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lattraspberriesMy favorite cold weather desserts need to be sweet and full of flavor. When it's cold and rainy outside, nothing is better than a slice of flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a bowl of hot apple cobbler and a spoonful of heavy cream. Rich and sweet or hot and sweet, yumm.

In summer, heaviness is out of place. My preferred dessert is beautifully ripe fruit from our local farmers' market: a bowl of ripe berries, a slice of ice cold watermelon or cantaloupe, a ripe pluot, peach, or nectarine.

When I want a more elaborate dessert, I supplement fresh fruit with custard.

Custard is easy to make, requiring only grade-school math: 2 (eggs) + 1 (cup cream) + 1/2 (cup sugar). Poured in a buttered pan, baked in a water bath. In and out of a 350 degree oven in an hour. Simple, easy, and delicious.

Then I had a thought.


Why not separate the eggs and get a souffle-effect by beating the whites? With a bit of experimentation, I discovered the souffle needed more support, so I adjusted the proportions by adding a third egg. To lighten the flavor and lower the calories, instead of using all cream, I split the difference with a 50-50 mixture of cream and plain yogurt. If you can find Greek yogurt, all the better, for its sour-edge.

Just for the record, I tried using all yogurt and it wasn't creamy enough for my taste.

Cream and Yogurt Custard with Fresh Raspberries

lattcakeYield: 4-6 servings

Time: 15 minutes to prepare, 75 minutes to bake


3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, finely chopped
1 basket raspberries, washed, dried
1 teaspoon sweet butter, melted


With the melted butter, paint an 8" or 9" ovenproof bowl to prevent sticking. Put the whites into a mixer with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Beat until the whites peak, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

Beat together the yolks and the remaining sugar until well-blended. Add the vanilla, yogurt, cream, and lemon peel. Mix well. Carefully fold in the whites, then the fresh raspberries.

Pour into the ovenproof bowl, place into a water bath with 2" of water, put in a preheated 350 degree oven.

After 30 minutes, rotate the bowl for even cooking and place an aluminum foil tent over the top to prevent burning. Be sure that the "tent" peaks above the surface of the bowl, otherwise as the souffle top rises, it will stick to the foil.

You'll know the custard is set when rotating the bowl, the custard moves only a little bit. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For lunch, serve cold from the refrigerator. For dinner, it is better at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.


Instead of raspberries, use any berry.

Top with whipped cream instead of powdered sugar.

Top with a caramelized nut: chopped walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts


David Latt is an Emmy-award winning television producer who turns to cooking to alleviate stress. He shares his experiences with food and his favorite recipes on his blog Men Who Like To Cook

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