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Category: Desserts

Literati II's strawberry and rhubarb crisp with creme fraiche sherbet and strawberry ice cream

Literati II's strawberry and rhubarb crisp with creme fraiche sherbet and strawberry ice cream
Ann Johansson / For The Times

"IT'S all about the fruit," says Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef at Spago. "A crumble should maintain the integrity of the fruit." It should -- and it does. These days L.A.'s smartest pastry chefs are taking cobblers and crisps and ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes plus freezing time | Serves 6 (8-ounce ramekins)
Note: From Kimberly Sklar at Literati II in West Los Angeles.

Creme fraiche sherbet

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Step 1On medium heat, bring the sugar and one-fourth cup water to a boil, turn down the flame and let simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce and thicken into a simple syrup. Set aside to cool.

Step 2Whisk together the buttermilk, creme fraiche, corn syrup, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup.

Step 3Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the anufacturer's instructions. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Strawberry ice cream

  • 1 1/2 pints strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 egg yolks

Step 1Rub off any dirt from the strawberries by gently rolling in a towel; hull the berries. Crush the strawberries with a potato masher and toss with one-fourth cup sugar. Set aside for the sugar to dissolve.

Step 2In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the milk and cream with the remaining sugar to just a boil.

Step 3In a mixing bowl, whisk the corn syrup and egg yolks. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time, stirring to gradually warm the mixture. Return the mixture to the stove and heat gently, stirring all the time, until it just thickens. When it coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a clean line with your finger, it is done.

Step 4Strain the mixture into a bowl and cool by placing the bowl in a bowl of ice and water until cold. Fold in the crushed strawberries.

Step 5Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes 1 quart.

Strawberry-rhubarb crisp

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 pound rhubarb, washed and dried
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, plus (optional) 1/3 cup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream (optional)

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the strawberries gently in a towel to remove excess dirt; hull the berries. Slice the strawberries lengthwise in half or in thirds depending on the size. Place in a bowl.

Step 2Cut off the ends of the rhubarb. Slice the rhubarb into 1-by- 1/2 -inch pieces. Add to the strawberries.

Step 3Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar, the brown sugar and 6 tablespoons flour over the fruit mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to macerate.

Step 4For the topping, combine the remaining 1 cup flour, the remaining 1 cup sugar and the baking powder and salt. Add the egg and mix together with your hands until it resembles a coarse meal.

Step 5Strain the fruit mixture into another bowl. Whisk 2 tablespoons creme fraiche into the liquid. Fold the liquid mixture back into the fruit. Divide equally into six (8-ounce) ramekins.

Step 6Cover the fruit with the topping. Drizzle melted butter over the topping.

Step 7Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, until the topping is golden brown and crisp.

Step 8To serve, place a small (one-fourth cup) scoop each of sherbet and ice cream on each ramekin. Or substitute a dollop of topping made by whipping together the optional cream and creme fraiche.

Each serving with one-fourth cup each sherbet and ice cream:
749 calories; 8 grams protein; 116 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 159 mg. cholesterol; 350 mg. sodium.
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