Salted Butterscotch Custard, Cranberry-Sparkling Wine Granita, Pickled and Dehydrated Cranberries, and Chantilly

Adapted by
March 2015
Yield: 8 servings


Salted Butterscotch Custard
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup dark brown sugar, not firmly packed
1⅛ teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar
3 tablespoons water
8 egg yolks (about 96 grams)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cranberry-Sparkling Wine Granita
(Yield: 10 to 12 servings)
½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons honey, plus additional as needed
1 pinch salt
1 cup sparkling white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus additional as needed
Dehydrated Cranberries
(Yield: ¾ cup)
1 cup fresh cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lime
¼ cup sugar
Pickled Cranberries
¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 pinch salt
1 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh cranberries, ends trimmed and cut in half on their equator
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the Salted Butterscotch Custard

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar dissolves and milk scalds; remove from heat. In a separate saucepan, combine Demerara with water. Over low heat, slowly melt the sugar. Continue cooking over medium heat to caramelize it. When the caramel is deep golden brown and the bubbles are big and syrupy, slowly add cream mixture, whisking to combine. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks with vanilla and whisk to combine. Stream caramel cream mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a chinois into a nonreactive, heatproof container. Adjust seasoning—the salt should be assertive, but not overpowering. Set CVap to steam at 200C with zero browning. Evenly divide custard into 8 bowls and steam for 30 minutes, or until set. Cool at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes; cover and chill.

For the Cranberry-Sparkling Wine Granita

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, vanilla sugar, honey, 1 cup water, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until cranberries burst and are very tender. Transfer mixture to blender and pure. Strain through a chinois—it should have body, but be pourable; adjust consistency with water as needed. Whisk in the wine and lemon juice. Taste and adjust for sweetness with honey or lemon. Pour into a shallow pan and place in freezer. Every 15 to 20 minutes, use a fork to break up the forming ice crystals. The finished product should be evenly sized magenta crystals. Fluff with a fork before serving.

For the Dehydrated Cranberries

Line a mesh dehydrator rack with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse cranberries a few times, until they are evenly and finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and add zests and sugar. Toss to coat. Evenly spread coated cranberries on the lined rack. Dehydrate on medium-high heat 6 to 8 hours, stirring periodically, until completely dry and crisp.

For the Pickled Cranberries

In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar. Increase heat and bring to boil. Into a shallow quarter hotel pan with cranberries, pour the hot pickling liquid. Cover the surface with parchment paper. Rest at room temp at least 30 minutes, then refrigerate. The cranberries are ready to serve, but will continue to intensify and deepen in flavor the longer they sit in the pickling liquid.

For the Chantilly

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and whip to soft peaks.

To Assemble and Serve

Place a quenelle of Chantilly in the center of custard. Top with Cranberry-Sparking Wine Granita, a few Pickled Cranberries, and a dusting of Dehydrated Cranberries.