Summer Berries Gratin
I heard about this recipe while I was listening to National Public Radio, where they invited the chefs from America’s Test Kitchen to share their favorite summer recipes.
When asked about their favorite dessert recipes, Bridget Lancaster started by saying, “I don’t like overly-sweet desserts.” That immediately got my attention.
I love sweets but I hate with a passion desserts overloaded with sugar. My husband doesn’t like sweets; the only dessert he can stand is fruity desserts with tart fruits such as blackberries. I don’t want my toddler to ingest too much sugar and develop an overly sweet tooth early in life.
Bridget continued with her recipe. It’s a simple recipe with summer berries and bread cubes, and sounds like something my whole family would enjoy.
She didn’t share the measurement of each ingredient so I just winged it. As most fruit cobbler desserts, you don’t need to be precise, which is why I love this recipe. You make it once and you’ll probably remember it for the rest of your life.
I didn’t add any sugar to the berries because my husband likes it tart. It was sweet enough because the bread cubes were sweetened, and I topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream which made the dish perfectly sweet and creamy.
It was refreshing in a hot summer night, yet comforting because of the warmth, and only took a few minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake.
Summer Berries Gratin
- 16 to 18 oz. blackberries
- Roughly equal volume of strawberries (you can use any combination of berries that fills up the baking dish)
- 4 slices of bread
- 2-4 tablespoons of baker’s sugar (ultrafine sugar)
- ½ stick of unsalted butter (or ¼ cup)
- A 9” x 9” baking dish (any baking dish will do, but you’ll have to adjust the amount of berries)
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wash the berries, and halve or quarter the strawberries so they are about the same size as the blackberries. (Optional: add some fine sugar if you like them sweeter.)
- Fill the baking dish about ¾ way up with berries, leaving some room for the bread cubes.
- Cube the bread slices to your desired size. I did about ¾” x ¾”.
- Cut the butter into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, and add 2-4 tablespoons of baker’s sugar depending on your taste.
- Toss the bread cubes into the butter/sugar mixture.
- Distribute the bread cubes evenly over the berries.
- Bake 10-20 minutes until the bread cubes are golden and crispy. You can broil it for a minute or two for more browning and crispness.
- Serve warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
The best thing about this dish is that the leftover options are limitless.
You can, of course, reheat it in the oven or the microwave. I served it cold to my toddler topped with yogurt as breakfast, just like yogurt parfait, and he loved it!
The bread cubes became saggy overnight in the fridge, but mixed with yogurt they tasted just fine. You can drizzle syrup or honey on top of yogurt if it’s not sweet enough.
If you want to dress it up, you can even serve it trifle style, layered with whipped cream or yogurt.