Though a gratin is typically made with root vegetables, in essence it’s a layered dish baked in a sauce. Here mixed fruit is baked with a souffle-type topping.
The dish is made in individual gratin dishes and cooked under a grill (broiler). This makes a very easy and quick to create dessert which still looks elegant on the plate.
600g (1 1/3 lbs) frozen mixed berries (or 400g [1 lb, scant] fresh mixed berries)
3 eggs, separated
2 egg yolks
80g (3 oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp clear honey
125ml (1/2 cup) dessert wine
2 tbsp icing sugar
Divide the fruit between four heat-proof gratin dishes.
Bring a pan of water to a simmer, sit a heat-proof bowl on top so that the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the egg yolks and sugar to the bowl and whisk off the heat until well blended. Sit over the simmering water and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and frothy (about 3 minutes). During this time ensure that the water gets no hotter than a simmer.
Now whisk in the honey and wine and take the mixture off the heat.
Add the egg whites to a clean and dry bowl and beat until the mixture holds in soft peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until just blended.
Divide this mixture between the gratin dishes, spreading evenly to cover the top of the fruit. Lightly sprinkle the top of each dish with icing sugar (this helps the meringue colour) then place under a hot grill and cook for between 1 and 2 minutes or until nicely browned.
Cook carefully, as the tops of the dishes can brown very quickly.