Our July/Aug issue is full of recipes that celebrate summer fruit, but the Creamy Cantaloupe Custards with Mixed Berries left me feeling particularly inspired. I love cantaloupe, and summer’s arrival means they’re in abundance and at their peak. After seeing how simple our recipe was, I decided to make them for my boyfriend, hoping to impress him with my culinary skills. Only a funny thing happened when I got home, bags in tow, after shopping for all my ingredients. I’d forgotten the most important one—the cantaloupe!
This oversight was, to say the least, rather problematic. Fortunately, our food editors developed a sweet berry sauce to garnish the custards, which gave me a quick idea for a substitute and—fingers crossed—a way to salvage my cantaloupe calamity. In lieu of melon custards, I decided to make creamy berry custards.
I already had plenty of fresh and frozen berries on hand, because I swear by mixed-berry smoothies. I drink one several times a week for breakfast so my fridge and freezer are usually stocked with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries when they’re in season. (I also freeze them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet then store them in zip-top bags to get me through the cold months.) Well, my gamble paid off. The berry custards were a hit with my other half, and they’re so easy to make. Plus, they're low in fat. I started with my usual berry smoothie mixture then followed the original cantaloupe recipe from there. Here's how I made them:
Creamy Berry Custards
2 1/2 cups mixed frozen and fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, plus 1/2 cup fresh berries for serving
3/4 cup almond milk
4 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (from 2 packets)
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1. In a blender, purée 2 1/2 cups mixed fresh and frozen berries, almond milk, and 2 tablespoons honey until smooth. (If you like your berry purée a bit sweeter, simply add more honey. Make sure you taste it as you go.) Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or heatproof bowl, pressing lightly on solids (you should have about 2 cups purée); discard solids. Pour 1/3 cup purée into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top; let sit 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt into remaining purée.
2. In a small saucepan, bring cream, 2 tablespoons honey, and pinch of salt to a simmer over medium. Whisk in gelatin mixture and cook until gelatin dissolves, 1 minute. Whisk cream mixture into yogurt mixture and divide among six 6-ounce glass bowls or ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 2 1/2 hours (or overnight).
3. To unmold custards, run a small knife around the outside edge of each bowl and invert onto a serving plate, gently shaking side to side to release. Serve with 1/2 cup fresh berries.