We have a fantastic “no-spray” berry farm and orchard not far from our home. Maddie and I picked lots of blackberries this past week; after much debate on my part about how to use them, I baked this luscious custard.

I think desserts like this are my favorite way to enjoy summer berries. Sure I like crisps, cobblers, pies and all those other yummy ways you can enjoy fruit, but custards like this are so simple to throw together, and they’re so deeply satisfying. If you make it with cream and eggs of the best quality (I use organic, raw cream and eggs from my backyard hens), this can be thought of as a nourishing dessert. It’s similar to a clafoutis or flougnarde, but there’s no flour (so it’s naturally gluten-free).

I roasted the blackberries first so that they’d be nice and soft, and so they’d give off some of their liquid and the custard would be firmer. The amount of sugar you should use really depends on how sweet your berries are: I found the 1/4 cup amount to be perfect, but if your berries are very tart, I’d use 1/2 cup. You can substitute another berry (raspberries? strawberries?) for the blackberries if you like.

This is delicious both warm from the oven or eaten cold out of the fridge (leftovers are nice for breakfast).

Recipe for Blackberries in Vanilla Custard

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

*2 cups fresh blackberries
*1/2 cup organic heavy cream, preferably raw or at least not ultra-pasteurized
*2 tablespoons organic sour cream
*1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
*1 whole egg
*1 egg yolk
*1/4-1/2 cup organic sugar or palm sugar
*seeds from 1 vanilla bean-optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place blackberries in baking dish and roast for 15 minutes.

3. While the blackberries are in the oven, whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

4. Remove blackberries from the oven and carefully transfer them to a different baking dish (reserve the blackberry juice for another purpose, if you like). Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

5. Pour the custard mixture over the blackberries and return to the oven.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the custard is just barely set (a little jiggle in the center is ok because it will continue to cool a bit when it's out of the oven). Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.