In this autotuned, photoshopped world, I find myself gravitating to all that is real and natural. This is my approach to fruit. Like Eve, I enjoy my fruit simply plucked off the tree or the vine. Sure, nature's bounty is great in a pie, crisp, or cobbler, but I always feel like the natural flavor sometimes is lost in its marriage with sugar. This summer I searched for a fruit dessert that wouldn't have to share billing with sugar, and I think I found it in this sweet flamiche. Flamiche is a fancy word, but don't let it or the phyllo dough scare you away from trying this dessert. It's a light, creamy, custardy dessert whose sweetness comes from the fruit. This is a dessert that showcases the fruit, which is the way it should be.
Sweet Flamiche with Summer Berries
- 1 ounce unsalted butter
- 4 sheets of phyllo pastry
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 ounces sour cream
- 7 ounces mixed berries
- confectioners' sugar, to serve or whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. You will need a heat-proof mixing bowl that will fit over a saucepan with the base of the bowl clear of the bottom of the pan. You will also need a small frying pan with an oven-proof handle.
- Place the butter in a small bowl and melt in microwave. Use a pastry brush to lightly butter the inside of the frying pan.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo pastry in the pan and brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet of pastry on top, but this time at an angle to the first sheet. brush with butter. Repeat with your remaining sheets. By laying each sheet at an angle to the previous one, you will make a rough star shape.
- Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan - enough to come close to the bottom of the heat-proof mixing bowl when you put it on top, but not actually to touch it.
- Place the sugar and eggs in the mixing bowl and place over simmering water. Whisk the sugar and egg mixture over the heat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add half of the sour cream and whisk again, then add the remainder and whisk once more. Take the pan off the heat and carefully lift off the bowl.
- Place the frying pan line with pastry over very low heat for 5-6 minutes, until the underneath is lightly browned - you can lift the edges gently with a spatula to check how it is doing.
- Remove the pan from the heat, scatter the fruit over the pastry, and top with the egg mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the egg mixture has set.
- Cool slightly and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, or you can serve a dollop of whipped cream on each slice.
PS. . . The recipe called for creme fraiche, but since I didn't have any, I used sour cream. The reciple also called for a splash of kirsch. Since I had none, I omitted it. However, I can see the benefit of having a bottle of kirsch in my liquor cabinet.