Vanilla Bean Custard with German Sour Cherry Sauce

This recipe uses two cherry-flavored German specialties: Kirschwasser, a clear, naturally cherry-flavored schnapps, and Sauerkirschen, sour cherries.

Ingredients

For the custard:

  • 2 cups low-fat or skim milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • scraped seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp German Kirschwasser
  • German chocolate sprinkles
  • leaves mintand fresh cherry to garnish optional

For the German Sour Cherry Sauce:

  • 1-1/2 cups German Sauerkirschen or sour cherries, from a jar

To finish:

  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

For the Custard:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat milk to a low simmer in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, sugar and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and Kirschwasser.
  • Pour custard mixture into 6 ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking pan, and fill baking pan with water almost to ramekins' rims, for custard to bake in a water bath. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until custard is set but still quivers when shaken. Let cool, then shake on chocolate sprinkles. Garnish also with mint leaves and fresh cherries if desired.

For the German Sour Cherry Sauce:

  • Place sour cherries in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher before dividing among plates.

For the Presentation:

  • For a pretty presentation, ladle Sour Cherry Sauce onto 6 dessert plates, dividing evenly. Place a ramekin in center of each. Place whipped cream in a zippered plastic bag, and snip a corner to make a piping bag. Pipe dots around each plate, and drag a toothpick through dots, making them into hearts as shown. Serve.