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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)

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.

Note: From Kimberly Sklar at Literati II in West Los Angeles.


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