Caramelized Winter Fruit Custard

By / Food / January 20th, 2012 / 1

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Jason Parsons, Executive Chef at Peller Estates Winery Restaurant, recently at a tasting of Ontario icewine. (I’ve written an article appearing in Tidings Magazine’s April issue with more in-depth coverage of the icewine industry and lots of tasting notes and recipes, too!) He is very excited about all the ways in which icewine can be used in cuisine to enhance recipes or in ingredient substitutions. See more tips here. This recipe was developed by Chef Parsons and is a comforting treat for a cold winter day.

Caramelized Winter Fruit Custard


6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
2 small Bosc pears, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups half and half cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp icewine

For Custard
1. Heat half and half cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat just until heated through and bubbles form at the sides of the pan. Whisk sugar, egg yolks and sea salt in a medium bowl; whisk in cornstarch.

2. Gradually add hot half and half cream to yolk mixture and whisk until blended. Return custard to same saucepan; stir over medium heat until custard boils and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in butter, then 2 tablespoons icewine. Remove from heat.

For Caramelized Winter Fruit
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle sugar over butter in the skillet, then place apple slices and pear slices in a single layer atop sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until fruit is golden on the bottom, pressing out to a single layer as fruit cooks and reduces in volume, about 8 minutes. Turn fruit over in skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook until juices in skillet are reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place custard in small serving dishes or bowls and layer warm caramelized fruit on top.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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