Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pots de Crème with Strawberries

Is there anything that sounds quite so divine as Pots de Crème? Little pots of cream, and I can just go at them with a spoon? Vanilla custard, while still sounding pretty darn tasty, doesn't sound nearly as sophisticated. But vanilla custard is what it is, and it has the little specks of aromatic vanilla bean to prove it. This is basically a crème brûlée without the brûlée -- perfect for those of us unarmed with a propane torch.
Sarah and I had just taken the kids to a strawberry patch - my very first time. As we drove in to the little farmette, we were greeted with a sign that read "All Picked Out!" and we had to explain to the kids that there were no strawberries to be had. There were tears.
Just as we were about to leave, the owner of the farm came out and said that there were still some strawberries, but we had to really look for them. A strawberry scavenger hunt! This made our berry-picking adventure all the more exciting. Each little ripe red strawberry was a special treasure. The kids marched around holding their buckets with pride.

When we brought our berries home, we knew we wanted to resist the urge to inhale them all and instead incorporate them into something. But we wanted a dessert that would highlight their unadulterated perfection. No need to cook or puree. Pots de Crème were the answer, as these berries were simply the crowning glory to this sweet, creamy dessert.

Pot de Crème with Strawberries

adapted from The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced

1. Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the heavy cream in a different medium bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a small pot, adding the scraped out bean to the pot as well. Add the half-and-half and sugar, and stir over medium heat until it is just steaming and the sugar is dissolved. When it is warm, whisk into the bowl of egg yolks. Immediately strain this mixture through a fine colander into the cold cream, mixing well. Remove the vanilla bean from the colander and squeeze all the seeds back into the custard mix.

3. Pour the custard mixture into 4 ramekins, and place them into a baking dish filled with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the top of the baking dish with foil, sealing the edges. Bake until the sides of the custards are set, but the center is still jiggly - about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the baking dish and let cool.

4. Before serving, top with freshly sliced strawberries.


  1. This my friend is a beautiful dish. Love it. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. I love pots de creme! Every strawberry is a little treasure, these sound delicious.

    1. Thanks! These little strawberries were so sweet. so good!

  3. Love your photos! The little pots are definitely the perfect way to end a meal! ;)

  4. Pots de Creme really are heavenly. All that creamy deliciousness gets me every time. And your just-picked strawberries look like the perfect topping. Three cheers for summer berries!

    1. Thanks, Erin! I know, I'd love one of these right now. :)

  5. Pots de Creme and a strawberry scavenger hunt! Why it's too good to be true! I can't wait to try this-- BTW, which farm did you go to? There have been some highs and lows with strawberry patches this year in Colorado (due to the late snowstorms, etc.)...but if you are able to find them, the fruits are heavenly! Gorgeous photos, as always!

    1. It was at Hoot 'n Howl farm! The kids had such fun feeding the chickens. :)

  6. yuuuuuum! I would eat way too many of these, if given the chance!


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