Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mini Custards with Limoncello-Spiked Raspberry Sauce

lemon custard

There are many things I miss about not living close to my family, such as seeing my young nieces dress up for their first father-daughter dance, visiting my grandmother at the nursing home, and celebrating family birthdays (like my dad's 70th last year). Thanks to Dad, I have something new to miss: homemade limoncello.

A couple of months ago, he and his long-time Italian friend, Tony, made homemade limoncello (lee-mon-chay-low), an Italian liquer made from lemons and flavorless grain alcohol like vodka. It's vibrantly lemony and mouth-puckeringly tangy.

Limoncello isn't just for drinking though. It enlivens sweet fruit sauces and is lovely whipped into mascarpone cheese and served with fruit.

These simple lemon custards I'm sharing today are beautiful in their simplicity. Creamy lemon-infused custard is topped with a chilled limoncello-spiked raspberry sauce that makes each bite pop. It's refreshing and sweet, and did I mention low-fat? What's not to love? That's why I'm sending it to Helen of Tartelette, host of Sugar High Friday #43: Citrus.

diving into lemon raspberry custard

Mini Custards with Limoncello-Spiked Raspberry Sauce
Serves 6
Print recipe only here.

4 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (preferably Meyer lemon)
1 3/4 cups skim milk

1 cup frozen raspberries (unthawed)**
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon limoncello
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

fresh raspberries
lemon zest, optional
1-2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

**I actually prefer using frozen raspberries to fresh for the sauce because it comes much thicker and clings deliciously to the custard. If you would rather use fresh berries, then just use less liquid.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 6 (3-inch-wide) ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

To make the sauce, puree all sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to several days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk all custard ingredients until smooth. Divide evenly among ramekins.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. Cool on a rack.

Custards can be served either at room temperature or slightly chilled. Add a couple of spoonfuls of raspberry sauce to each ramekin, then garnish with fresh raspberries, lemon zest and chopped pistachios.

lemon custards straight from the oven
When you take the custards out of the oven, they are impressively puffy. Within 1-2 minutes, they will deflate, so you'd better be quick if you want to take a picture.

You might also like these citrus-spiked baked goods:

Coconut Lemonquat Tea Cake

Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones (Heart Healthy & Low Fat!)

Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Lemon

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