raspberry-brown-sugar-gratin Recipes

raspberry brown sugar gratin

This is the ugliest, best thing I have ever made with three ingredients and the happy ending to three weeks of obsessing. And here you probably just thought it looked like an accident, didn’t you?

raspberries

This plan hatched last month when Regina Schrambling declared on Epicurious’ Epi-Log that one of the best ways to eat summer berries is to “just add fat” to them. Well, she didn’t have to ask me twice! Buried near the end of the post, however, is the real gem, a summary of a recipe from New American Classics by Jeremiah Tower (I thought his hair looked familiar…) in which berries, sour cream and dark brown sugar are broiled together in a shallow dish to create something he calls a “Russian Gratin.”

ingredients
piling in the berries

I have thought about nothing since. No, I am not being melodramatic, just ask my poor husband, who I informed that, being Russian, it was his destiny to love this. I became single-minded in my plight to make this happen but even that was a challenge that shouldn’t have been a challenge. First, I was saddened to learn that the book was out of print; I ordered it used but decided I couldn’t wait until it arrived: I had to make it now now now! Still, it took three trips to the Greenmarket to find raspberries without mold on them. (I prefer them to wait to show signs of rot until five minutes after I get home.) And then, I conveniently forgot one small but pretty salient detail: me and the broiler don’t get along. Chalk it up to the cheapest oven a landlord can get away with buying, but every time I put something under it, the pilot light goes out a minute later. (Oh, delicious gassy brûlée!) I tried to finish it off with a blowtorch, which immediately set the brown sugar on fire (Mm, gassy and smoky!) and then finally I determined that it was as good as it was going to get.

sour cream + raspberries
sifting

“As good as it was going to get” does not do this dish justice, people. This is crusty, charred, half-cooked heaven in a gratin dish. I’ve never had anything like it but I’m pretty sure that until the end of time, when I have five minutes to throw together a dessert (or possibly even longer, because I’m forgetting any compelling reason to make something else), this is what it will be. Sure, I might deck it out with crème fraîche instead of sour cream, maybe I’ll use different berries or one day have a broiler than actually broils things, but I can assure you that even half-burnt, partially cooked with store-bought inorganic sour cream and berries halfway to the compost bin, this is the best thing to come out of my kitchen and into my belly in weeks.

scooped
my pretty puddle

One year ago: Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie and Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons
Two years ago: Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill
Three years ago: Red Pepper Soup

Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin [Russian Gratin with Raspberries]
Adapted from Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics via Regina Schrambling

There are a lot of ways you can play around with this — flavoring the sour cream with lemon, vanilla, cinnamon or almond; using a mix of berries, etc. — but it is flawless the way it is. Want to fancy it up for fancy people? Make it in individual ramekins or tiny gratin dishes.

[Updated to add] Ooh, I just had an idea — Swap thick, full-fat Greek-style yogurt swapped for sour cream and serve it at a brunch to what I have to imagine would be a round of applause. Or at least I’d applaud.

1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries (or your choice of berry)
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream (or crème fraîche)
1 cup dark brown sugar

Preheat broiler. Gently fold raspberries and sour cream together in a shallow 1-quart dish. Press the brown sugar through a sieve or mesh colander so that it sprinkles evenly over the dish. (I tried using a sifter; don’t bother, it doesn’t work.) Run the dish under the broiler until the sugar just starts to caramelize. Eat at once.

Keeping: The leftovers might look like something died in your fridge but I can assure you, are equally delicious.

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391 comments on raspberry brown sugar gratin

  1. Oh! I wish I had this recipe yesterday when I still had raspberries in the fridge. This looks incredible. I did make the raspberry buttermilk cake that you posted and it was FANTASTIC and SO EASY! Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. You can’t go wrong with these ingredient! I now have to try it, looks amazing!

    Could be good with a “cobbler” kind of topping too! Oh possibilities, possibilities ;)

  3. This is so funny, after the post last week I took my standard blueberry peach pie recipe and turned it into a gratin just to avoid making a crust! I did my topping with bread crumbs, brown sugar, and butter, and according to the America’s Test Kitchen book the french used to do it with stale croissants. Since mine did not have a creamy inside, I’ve been eatting it all week with homemade vanilla ice cream. Added inches to my waistline? Worth it.

  4. Margaret

    I wonder could I do this with yoghurt. I guess we’re about to find out, seeing as that’s what I have in the fridge.

  5. My fruit-as-dessert naysayer of a boyfriend will have to get over himself. This will be made tuis weekend. Or,perhaps, the presence of fruit means breakfast?

  6. Naomi

    No way. While I read this I am eating raspberries in a bowl with brown sugar and oat cream. I had hoped this would give me an idea on something fancier to make with the rest of the berries. Then I turn on the computer and there is your perfect recipe. Am going to make right now!

  7. Linda

    Oooh this looks great. If only I had known yesterday when I had a hankering for dessert. I just did sour cream and cane sugar and blueberries in a bowl and thought that was great. But tossing them under the broiler would be awesome. Altho it was hotter than hell here. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Love the idea of using Greek yogurt. I’ve recently become addicted to it and find that I must put it in everything. Chili, curry, muffins, yum.

  9. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and the tummy). My CSA has all sorts of yummy berries … I’ll see what they come up with this weekend. And btw, I never would’ve guessed that you’d have such manly, sifter-holding wrists. ;)

  10. Sally

    This looks amazing – I’m definitely making it this weekend for brunch w. Greek yogurt.

    Q: How many servings, do you think?

    1. deb

      Sally — Let’s see, half cup ramekins … I’d say 4 to 6. If there aren’t many other sweets, go with 4.

      Negative Nancy — Obviously just another reason for me to come hang out in the Midwest! Can you tell I have Americana Wanderlust these days?

  11. Kate

    Where’s the customary Jacob shot!? Can’t wait to make this. I’ll probably use greek yogurt, which practically makes this HEALTH FOOD.

  12. Ann

    I was just going to ask you about using yogurt instead. In fact, while I was looking at the pictures, I was thinking it must be yogurt and was surprised to read sour cream. Thanks for updating! I think I’ll use Greek yogurt!

  13. This looks amazing. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but sour cream/brown sugar dip is standard with fresh fruit… The idea of it being melty and warm is almost more goodness than I can handle!

  14. cupcak3s

    try this, you wont be sorry.

    Strawberries
    A small bowl full of sour cream
    a small bowl full of brown sugar..

    dip dip eat.. rinse repeat…

  15. sheri

    This looks amazing – what are your thoughts about advance prep? Could it be assembled and left in the frig earlier in the day? Thanks!

  16. It’s almost cheating to turn out something that tasty with only 3 ingredients that doesn’t have chocolate in it. I never really thought about baking sour cream and brown sugar with raspberries, but I’m like other commenters, I love to eat it like that raw!

  17. Sarah

    I also have a malfunctioning broiler, but have found a somewhat workable solution (for small foods only): my toaster oven’s “top brown” setting. Now, to go mix my berries, Fage 0%, and turbinado together in a teeny blue Fiestaware gratin dish….

  18. Looks yummy. I will be trying that this weekend with strawberries. My parents are coming over for a few weeks, and I plan to dazzle them with my cooking skills. Will let you know how it turns out :)

  19. Audrey

    Curse you – my raspberries (that I bought on Tuesday!) had mold on them by Wednesday. I guess I have to go buy more now…

  20. If only my husband hadn’t given up sweets/desserts for July. Maybe this will be the perfect excuse for a girls’ night, because I don’t htink I can wait until August!

  21. Anne

    My favorite treat EVER(since I was a kid) is Strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar. Can’t wait to try this!

  22. I’m amazed that I want to eat that so badly given parts of your description. I t sounds so great, and the yogurt idea sounds great too! You know, if you oven accidentally died from some freak accident that just couldn’t be prevented, your landlord might have to get a new one….

  23. Barbara in N. FL

    Ah! My friend Marion insisted years ago that strawberries tasted best dipped in sour cream then brown sugar. I never have tried it. Now I realize she must have been right but somehow it didn’t appeal to me, thought it would overwhelm the berry. It seems 2 cups of sour cream would overwhelm the berry flavor, but then again raspberries pack a ton of flavorishousness! Am convinced to try it now. Thanks, Deb! You are still my favorite food blogger though I’ve visited many!

  24. Two gratin recipes within two days of me buying an Emile Henry gratin dish on RIDICULOUS sale at Williams-Sonoma and one day within my tomato plant fully blooming AND me having everything on hand to make both of these recipes?!?!

    You are too much, Deb. Thank you.

  25. Colleen

    There was an article in the NYT last year about heating berries to keep them from molding. The link is http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/26/dining/26curi.html?_r=1&em

    The very short version of the instructions is to heat berries for 30 seconds at 125-140 degrees for 30 seconds (lower temps for softer berries, e.g., raspberries, higher for more robust berries, e.g., blueberries). I usually put them in a strainer and dip the strainer into a pot with the heated water. Raspberries never seem to last in my house more than 3 days and after heat treatment they did not get moldy, and I could not taste a difference even eating the berries plain.

  26. Well, if this is half as good as your cornbread salad — whose leftovers I’m gobbling up for lunch — I’m totally making this after I go raspberry-picking. Doesn’t hurt that I have a Russophile boyfriend who will help me eat it…

  27. Kathy in St. Louis

    Another vote for strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar! It was the only way I would eat them as a kid – before I wised up and discovered their singular deliciousness. So, this recipe makes complete sense to me.

    I imagine that frozen (and thawed) fruit would work just fine, too. I’m going to start my variations with peaches, since we’re rollin’ in ’em here.

    Come on out to the Midwest, Deb! The food culture here is deep and wide, and we love to share it with open-minded (and open-mouthed) friends.

  28. Joelle

    What do we think of frozen berries? Because the raspberry season is frightfully short, but I still have pounds of blackberries in the freezer…from last year…

  29. Jessica

    Willing the baby to wake up from her nap so we can go to the farmers’ market for crying out loud! Wake up! Mama needs some berries and fat!

  30. I so agree about fat being perfect for summer fruit. The swedes like to eat fresh strawberries with cream and a little sugar. Perfection in a bowl. This looks almost as easy so I’m going to put it on our list for this week. Thanks!

  31. Thanks for sharing these simple recipes! I still make the tomato, butter, and onion sauce recipe posted on your blog all the time. This one looks like it has a similar bang for buck in terms of effort/results. I am so tempted to put granola on top for some crunch!

  32. Elizabeth

    Fabulous! I will definitely be trying this, since I have a husband who would live off of sour cream if he could. In a way it reminds me of David Lebovitz’s Strawberry Sour Cream Ice cream (form a perfect scoop), which is definitely my favorite recipe in there so far. Thanks a million!

  33. Jen

    One of my favorite dessert recipes is a blueberry pie with a lemony brown sugar/sour cream mixture folded into the blueberries. It’s got a Graham cracker crust and topping. It always gets rave reviews! After trying some orange/rhubarb jam my in-laws made, I’m thnking about trying that combo instead of the blueberry/lemon. Time to experiment, methinks!!

  34. This looks… well, ugly, but delicious! I really want to try it with a mix of berries. And two fast, easy-to-make dishes in a row? Your scalloped tomato dish was gobbled up in no time when I made it two days ago. Now I can’t wait for this!

  35. how fabulous that this comes from ingredients everyone keeps around. i have an almost-empty bag of brown sugar and a half-gone tub of sour cream. and this will be on the table tonight. thanks deb!

  36. Laura H.

    This looks amazing… I am so in love with the deliciously simple recipes lately.

    Sidenote on the strawberries + sour cream/brown sugar: I’m a Michigander and was actually flabbergasted when I first heard of this last summer… I was beyond curious and instantly fell in love when I finally tried it. What a miraculous flavor combination that is! :)

    Also, on the berries + fat… My favorite summer dessert from my childhood: fresh raspberries with some some sugar on them left overnight so they get that yummy sweet liquid… Pop that in a little bowl, pour on some half n’ half (the full fat, oh so good kind) and enjoy. Mouth waters just thinking of it!

  37. Some of the best meals I’ve ever made are the ones that kind of looked, well, gross. It looks like this is a perfect example of one of yours. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, and since it’s so simple, experimenting with it!

    Thanks, and I’ll have you know that I’m still drooling.

    1. deb

      Frozen berry questions — I debated writing this in as a suggestion and honestly, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. It’s more that they can be very wet. Whether the answer is to let them defrost and pat them dry (which could be a mess) or to use them frozen (but they may not defrost under the broiler for such a short time), I’m not sure. This is where I got stuck and left the recipe as “fresh berries”. If you try it, please report back and let us know how it went so others can follow your suggestion. Or, wait six months. I’m sure I’ll be doing the same! :)

  38. Annie

    ok, you might hate me for this, but do you think I could use frozen berries? I’m probably paranoid, but I am not turning on oven until it’s well in low 80s and less humid. I thought maybe, just maybe, we could enjoy this in mid February to remind us that summer is coming?

  39. Susan

    If you want to fancy this up a bit and have some zucchini bread or banana bread handy, toast a slab of the bread and top it with this mixture and broil it. You can do it for a crowd or just for yourself. Any toast would do, probably..just for a little crunch!

  40. Yum! This reminds me of my favorite way to eat strawberries. Dip it in sour cream, then dip it in brown sugar. Way, way, WAY better than chocolate covered. I don’t know why more people don’t eat them that way. Can’t wait to try it with raspberries!

  41. I made your scalloped tomato dish for dinner last night, and it just became one of my summer staples. I’ll try this one with greek yogurt, a dusting of lemon zest, and orange-pulp-soaked fresh blueberries on Saturday — can’t wait to taste!

  42. pureland

    You inspired me! Is looks soooo delicious! I am definitely going to try this recipe.
    It only proves that beauty lies in simplicity :)

  43. BottyGuy

    It looks delicious. I don’t think I can ever make it though as I’ve never been able to resist fresh raspberries long enough to have some available for a recipe.

  44. I have the same problem with cucumbers going bad 5 minutes after I get them home. I mean how do they look so fresh in the store and horrible the next day?!?

  45. Incredible! The magic of only three ingredients creates something heavenly. :) I just looooove any dish with raspberries, and I am definitely going to be giving this a try!

  46. Naomi

    Woo! Just made it with 3 cups raspberries 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup thick yogurt, 1/2 cup muscovado sugar. Just felt right that way.

    Was delicious but a little watery – I think maybe because I used extra raspberries, or because I washed the raspberries and they still had some water on them, or maybe I need to drain the yogurt until it’s more of a labneh.

  47. Joy

    Oh, I am mourning dairy at the site of this recipe! My 3 month old can’t handle cow’s milk protein in his mama’s milk and somehow I don’t think it would be the same with soy yogurt. This will be one to try when that digestive track of his matures :)

  48. WOW. Anything with brown sugar is destined to be a star and could this be any easier? Can’t wait to try it. For another healthy twist, I wonder if you could also substitute Brown Sugar Splenda? Just a thought. Thanks for sharing!

  49. ct

    This is a longstanding favourite summer recipe of mine, only with different fruit: sliced peaches, strawberries and halved white grapes, under a blanket of creme fraiche. I crumble amaretti biscuits over the fruit, as well. Super amazingly delicious.

  50. Kristen

    okay..the 6th picture has me laughing. at first I thought, darn, deb has some hairy arms…then i see the reflection in the mixer. deb on the left shooting in purple or blue; and alex on the right, bare-bellied on the right! :) all joking aside, this sounds simple and like a good summer treat. i think i’ll try this for my picky parents when i visit next week!

  51. s

    This looks delicious! When I was a kid, my Mom had a similar dip that was always a hit. Take strawberries, dip them in sour cream, then in brown sugar. It is FANTASTIC! Every time someone encountered it for the first time, they were doubters. Once they tasted it, they were converted. Deb, you are a genius! My Mom will love it!

  52. Patsy

    Deb, I love your little collander. Anthropologie? And how has everyone had time to try this already? Nofe-air! I’m dying to try this with apricots — just made the most delicious tart with just leftover pie dough topped with apricot halves, butter nugglets and sugar. It was so incomparably easy, I’m done with fussy pies for good.

    1. deb

      Patsy — Yes, I confess to an Anthropologie kitchen gear purchase. It sucked me in. I am weak in the face of kitchen slipcast ceramics.

      Kristen — You have a freakishly sharp eye. And now I feel like I have to hide the photo — poor Alex being called in to model sifting!

  53. Collette

    This looks wonderful! Now, for the totally off-topic, you are responsible for me purchasing a slow cooker in a place with no actual room for it. However, since the brisket was so, so worth it (I’ve made it weekly for since July 4th), you’re off the hook.

    This week, I even made it into pizza (the brisket, not the slow cooker) and it was great. I strained the sauce, reduced it for a while and added some tomato paste to thicken. I used some pizza sauce, the chipotle sauce (I thought just the chipotle sauce would be too much), brisket, mozzarella and some cheddar. Oh man, that stuff is good!

  54. I’m definitely in the “ugly on the outside, amazing in my mouth camp.” i know this is a sin as a foodie and a blogger, but i just don’t care… i want things to taste amazing, if they look good: bonus!

    i’ll be trying this post haste.

  55. Erika

    Yum!! I actually make a cold “sauce” for fruit with yogurt, heavy cream and brown sugar which is delcious, and I bet the flavors of this are similar.
    Definitely one to try, especially considering the short ingredient list.
    Thanks for sharing!

  56. Yep—Folks Down South have been using this exact recipe for decades—we just have served it cold, as we don’t like to heat up the kitchen anytime from May til Frost. This looks absolutely scrumptious—we’ve had a BLUEBERRY Something for the past four nights, and strawberries-with-yellow-cake is the choice for tonight, but tomorrow—time to start using up that two gallons of blues in the freezer, and this is just the thing!!

  57. so, what do you think of sweet potatoes in this? they are so happy with brown sugar – you’d have to bake them somehow first since they wouldn’t cook in the short broiler time, but i’m thinking this would be a super awesome pumpkin pie alternative? (not that i’d like to have a reason to avoid pumpkin pie…)

  58. Kathy in St. Louis

    Cindy, that’s so crazy that it might work. What if you roast cubed, sweetly-seasoned sweet potatoes first, then tossed them with the sour cream?

    Oh cripes, now I’m wondering about butter-fried, rum-spiked bananas or plantains in place of the raspberries…

  59. this is genius. i am literally going to walk into the kitchen and make it right this minute. forget everything else I have to do today- THIS is important.

  60. WOW. I thought Pioneer Woman’s yogurt, cream and brown sugar concoction was the best way to eat berries. THIS, THIS IS CRAZY! I can taste it already. I must have this now!

  61. amy

    After a recent trip to the restaurant Al Forno in Providence (which I loved), I borrowed the owners’ cookbooks from the public library, only to find in one of them (Cucina Simpatica by Johanne Killeen) a recipe for a gratin like this made with berries and MASCARPONE. I haven’t made it yet as I don’t allow myself many desserts these days, but I’ve been thinking about it daily. It has to be amazing.

  62. Jenny

    Hi Deb! This reminds me of one of my favorite treats growing up: Strawberries Manhattan. You dip a fresh strawberry into sour cream, then brown sugar, then eat. They are delicious and made me feel like one very fancy 8-year-old eating a dessert with Manhattan in the title (even though I’m 99% sure it was a Southern Living recipe). I can’t wait to try this one!

  63. My mother used to make something I think she called Grapes Helene that involved grapes in sour cream with brown sugar. I think hers was cooked and then cooled? So the sugar melted and then swirled in and then crisped up? I was just thinking about this the other day, but as it is berry season, I’m ready to go with that!
    And here I am with creme fraiche sitting on my counter right now….yum! Thanks!

  64. Maureen

    Many years ago I had a similar dessert that still sticks in my mind as fabulously simple and elegant. Fresh strawberries that are dipped in sour cream and then brown sugar. No cooking or broiling needed. Just dip and pop them into your mouth.

  65. Meg

    This is amazing! I saw this recipe literally five minutes ago and am now eating it in front of the computer. My five-year-old daughter just announced, “Delicious! When we have raspberries, we should always make this!”

  66. Halfway to creme brulee (best thing in the world in any case). I have made something very similar without the name and with greek yoghurt or similar, which cuts the fat and freshens it up a little for me. Brilliant food. And you can almost eat it for breakfast and call it ‘healthy’…

  67. sarah

    cant wait to try this.. and cant wait for your cook book to come out when it doesnt. i think it will be our Christmas gift to everyone possibly that year. Your recipes are the best! always look forward to each new one :)

  68. EG

    GAH – I was just at the farmer’s market AND the grocery store this evening! I will remember this. Yes I will. Maybe. I’ll try, anyway.

  69. Nicole

    Hi, Deb – the instructions say to fold the raspberries and sour cream together, but the photos make it look like you layered them – any reason for that? Also, so making this tonight – I don’t care how ugly it is, I will love it for the rasberries. Ooh, maybe I’ll add some almond extract to the sour cream!

    1. deb

      Nicole — I folded them in the dish.

      Megan — I am the queen of overcomplicating things but seriously think this dish needs none of that. Try it as-is first… then decide.

      Gluten free — Is this dish? Anything to worry about in brown sugar?

  70. Alena

    This is my first time commenting, although I have made many wonderful meals using recipes from your site.

    However – THREE ingredients??? It sounded too good to be true. I just happened to working from home, and just happened to have all three ingredients on hand (I used creme fraiche) and I can testify to the utter scrumptiousness of this dessert.

    I predict we will be seeing it pop up on other food blogs in 3… 2… 1…

    xox Thanks for being so wonderful xox

  71. Debby

    So I noticed that somebody posted that they serve this cold, but I was a little unsure from the wording if they actually cooked it first or not. What do you think about cooking it and serving it cold the next day? Along those same brunch lines you mentioned, but with the original sour cream?

  72. Judy

    oh, my~ girl, you can think of wonderfully fattening dishes to make. I’m making mine with blueberries; our bushes have been full all season and I’ve been so good just eating them rinsed.. it’s time for indulgence. I will wait until tomorrow so I can work off SOME of the calories :-)

  73. As luck would have it, I got a pint of slightly over-the-hill raspberries in my CSA share today, and also just happened to have a little home-made Greek-style yogurt on hand. I made this for dessert tonight, and it was great. The husband put a little vanilla ice cream on the top of his.

  74. Erin

    I have been thinking about this recipe all day and as we were laying on the couch, my fiance said, “I wish we had dessert!” I did a mental check of what was in the fridge and answered, “we do!” Blueberries instead of raspberries and the sour cream was low fat, but all turned out incredibly delicious! Tasted a bit like toasted marshmellows! I even got to use my little individual gratin dishes for the first time! Thanks so much!

  75. hayley

    suggestion: for a more adult version add a tablespoon or so of Kahlua – my dad used to make mix sour cream, brown sugar and Kahlua and we would sit and dip fruit into it until we were very very full! yum.

  76. Nicole

    Wow. Not quite 10 minutes from finding my little ramekins to eating this bowl of deliciousness. I’m sold! Incidentally, this worked just peachy in the toaster oven. Unless yours is a lot bigger than mine, you’d probably have to stick to individual cups and do them one or two at a time, but it takes so little time, I don’t see that as a problem.

  77. This dish is brilliant – at the end of the week, I’m always left with the berries that were pushed to the back of the fridge and are starting to skeeve me out and the tub of yogurt my husband promised he would eat but didn’t. Add some brown sugar and you have amazing deliciousness! And since there’s fruit it in, it’s totally healthy, right? :-)

  78. Heidi

    This is genius and very forgiving. I threw some quartered CSA apricots in a ramekin with some Greek yogurt, and sprinkled light brown sugar (because oops, I clearly didn’t read the recipe that closely) on the top. Still absolutely delicious – didn’t even bother to measure or press the sugar through a sieve. I let the sugar caramelize completely and it looked like creme brulee when I took it out of the oven. Perfect quick dessert just for me, and only had to turn the oven on for 5 minutes on this 95 degree day.

  79. Ok, so maybe I’m totally overcomplicating the amazing simplicity of this recipe, but – tart crust underneath? Pie dough? Puff pastry? Would that even work? Would it just be a big waste of time?

    Perhaps I shall have to try it both ways and report back.

  80. One of my favorite things is to mix sour cream or Greek yogurt with brown sugar and a little vanilla, and dollop it on top of any kind of berry. It never occurred me to toss it under the broiler (where mine too might very well burn, but I’ll try anyway!)

    And don’t forget to check the public library for out-of-print books!

  81. Just made this tonight. So, so yummy! We all loved it. Except…. that I have 2 very burnt fingers. :( Don’t be as dumb as me and touch the brown sugar to “see if it is crispy”! Big mistake. (Fortunately, it was my left hand so I could still eat with my right! )

  82. Tabitha

    Holy mother of god was this sweet. Not sure this would work with less sugar, but it would definitely be worth a try. As is this was way too sweet.

  83. James G

    Much as I love most things Russian, when I saw the use of sour cream here I thought that I would try it with Greek yogurt instead; glad to see that you thought of it too!

  84. Emily

    I almost stopped reading when I saw the white color and instructions to “add fat” (I’m lactose intolerant). But how genius – it’s sour cream! I can eat that! Or yogurt? I can eat that too! You’ve opened up a whole new world of creme brulee-styled dishes for the lactose challenged among us. Thanks!

  85. This sounds amazing! I grew up eating something similar – my mom calls it Strawberries Romanoff, which is just a fancy name for strawberries dipped in creme fraiche, then dipped in brown sugar. Good for a no-cook summer dessert.

  86. My mum makes something a little similar but even easier. That mixes equal parts of whipped cream and Greek yogurt, then you sprinkle brown sugar thickly over the top and leave overnight in the fridge. The sugar sort of melts through and caramelises and is basically heaven. I’d use whipping cream rather than double cream (I think whipping cream is “heavy” cream in American?) and a shallow-ish bowl because that way you get a higher sugar-to-creamy-stuff ratio.

  87. I need to try this. Now….

    Small question, i feel a bit dumb asking this. I’m assuming i can stick this under the grill in my oven, and that’d be the equivalent to broiling?

  88. Korinna

    When it sais “sour cream” can I use low fat? We do not have créme fraiche but we have creme double (0% fat) and sour cream which comes in 5%, 10% and 18%

  89. erin

    I always count onyour website for delectable recipes, but my favorite thing about your website is your writing. I just love that your voice and your dry wit comes through so clearly in your writing. I often find myself smiling and chuckling at your situations and descriptions. Such a pleasure to read your posts!

  90. Lili

    Had a similar combo for the first time years ago, but sweet green grapes were topped with very creamy & freshly made yogurt, both heavily sprinkled with dark brown sugar, in single serving bowls. It was served cold, without broiling, so maybe that makes it a different dessert altogether:) but I can attest that the combination of flavors & textures was heavenly then & every time after that. Since then I’ve used Greek yogurt … it’s a fine substitution. Fresh sliced peaches, blueberries & sliced strawberries together with the grapes, on their own or paired up were completely delicious as well. Peaches & green grapes are my favorite. I think. Any single fruit or combo is amazingly good served cold, but I have a feeling that just raspberries prepped in a gratin dish & broiled is going to take this over the top.

  91. Carol L. Evans

    I have been making a similar dish for years with figs, not the ones that grow in your yard but the fresh calamyra or brown turkey style you can buy about once a year, you only need about 4 of these topped with sour creme and brown sugar and torched for a wonderful gourmet desert. I will try the rasberries, you try the fig. Even though the rasberries are moldy, they are more readily available, can’t wait.

  92. Patty S

    OOOwww talk about fruit and fat!! FAVORITE summer recipe is to gather berries into a pile in a heavy duty doubled(!) foil envelope, with a little honey (optional) drizzled on top. Wrap all foil edges to one side to prevent leaking. Stick under a broiler or on a grill for about 6 or 7 minutes or until you hear the berries popping. Carefully remove the envelope and transfer to a baking dish. The berries will have made their own juice. Hot berries and juice over ice cream or sorbet… OMG. This is great for bar-b-ques and a make-well-in-advance, quick and easy desert. Can’t wait to try your raspberry gratin!!! Loved the pic of the Beebs!

  93. Fatima

    This sounds delicious – but raspberries and blueberries are out of season here in South Africa, perhaps I’ll try it with strawberries.
    Another take on this kind of dessert is to mix yogurt with half the amount of fresh cream and layer it on top of sliced fruit (my favourite is fresh mangoes but I’ve tried raspberries and blueberries too), top with a thick layer of dark brown sugar and then leave it in the fridge to sink in for a little while – delicious!

  94. meg

    we make a version of this all the time! in winter use a bag of frozen raspberries, top with fresh whipped cream (don’t add any sugar to), dust with chunky natural sugar and then broil. so fantastic.

  95. This is really up my alley, and definitely a quicker dish to make than the raspberry lime granita I made a week or so ago. I could also see topping it with a bit of nuts, hazelnuts or pistachios maybe.

  96. Tara

    I made this with strawberries last night and it was totally amazing (and I’ll admit to some skepticism beforehand!). Between this and your hacked Caprese salad it was a lovely, delicious, and (almost) oven-free dinner and dessert. Thank you, thank you, thank you Deb for sharing these recipes and getting me cooking again!

  97. nan

    Raspberry picking starts in a week – I love to pick berries in the sun, dreaming of how I’ll use them…thanks for giving me the recipe for the FIRST thing I’ll do and when I wake from my diabetic coma I’ll move on to jam.

  98. Rescie Cook

    When I was able to stop laughing at your description of the dish and your problems with your cheap oven, I made it and it is delish. I also have an oven that was manufactured in the Civil war era so I bought a countertop oven and it works. Wow, what will they think of next.

  99. Summer

    I’ve seen a similar recipe a few years back, but it used bananas. I too was skeptical but it ended up being amazing and simple.

  100. jennifer

    made this with blueberries fresh from the garden – it is fantastic and i will be forced by my family to make it everyday from now on!!!

  101. Annie

    I did it. I tried this with frozen blackberries. I put the frozen berries in the fridge for 30 min (so it was still kinda frozen). The end result? The juices ran a little bit and some berries were still cold, but totally thawed. So messy, but I didn’t care! My 20mo old LOVED it!

  102. abby

    Made this with blueberries last night, and full-fat sour cream. DEEEEELICIOUS. I thought the combination sounded so weird, but I was so intrigued I had to try it. And I’m glad I did! When Greek yogurt goes on sale, I can’t wait to try it with that.

    I think this is one of those dishes that would really lose something if you substituted a fat free ingredient. Maaaaayyyybe low-fat sour cream or yogurt, but there’s a richness and a thickness that I think would be lost from the full-fat version.

  103. Letha

    OK, Deb. This time it’s really just too over the top! I can never resist “just looking” at your latest offering. Am now addicted to the Porch Swing and your improved Strawberry Rhubarb pie. But now this: I must go in search of raspberries. Now. Can deliciousness get any better?

  104. Susan

    This old J. Tower cookbook is one of my boyfriend’s favorites – you’ll be glad you found a copy. When it gets to you, don’t miss the corn soup. Heavenly.

  105. For the first time in the history of the world, I don’t have leftover sour cream in my fridge, so I can’t make this immediately… So instead, I’m consoling myself with regular flavored yogurt and blackberries. It’s helping, but I still want gratin.

  106. Emily G

    This reminds me of strawberry “soup” my mom would make after we went picking. She’d mash up some berries and sugar and mix them with enough sour cream to make a soupy consistency. I really like the idea of layering the sugar on top and heating it a bit. I’m definitely going to try this!

  107. Ruth

    I agree with cupcak3s. I have been dipping strawberries in sour cream, then brown sugar and eating out of hand for years. Started using raspberries for the same treat only recently.

    I can’t wait to see how broiling the brown sugar makes it that much better!

  108. emily

    This looks divine. I’m curious about the texture and consistency at the end. Does it firm up like a pudding? Or if not, how do you imagine this would be puddled over a slightly sweetened pound cake? Or, oh man, churned in an ice cream maker (with the brown sugar swapped for homemade caramel)? But regardless of those flourishes, this sounds like an excellent quick dessert. :)

  109. Deb – you just reminded me of one of my favorite snacks/weekday desserts growing up, particularly when it is warm out. My grandmother would mix green grapes with sour cream, brown sugar and kahlua. Then let them sit together in the fridge and eat ice cold. It doesn’t have the bruleed top, but oh my is it heaven. I forgot how glorious brown sugar and sour cream are together. Now I must make both of these versions…

  110. sorry to post again but that sounded so odd… so easy and delicious, was a perfect use to the last of my hand-picked raspberries!! thanks for sharing :)

  111. One time someone fed me french toast (made on thick cinnemon bread) topped with sour cream, raspberry jam, and brown sugar. I was worried….and then I ate it and possibly passed out briefly. Heaven. I shall be making this toute suite.

  112. It’s amazing how obsessive compulsive you all are. I would never ever obsess about food like oh, I don’t know..fried green tomatoes, creamy rich mac n cheese made with six different cheeses, fresh blueberry tart, grilled cheese sandwiches with truffles, artichokes with hollandaise, anthing with hollandaise (don’t ask), pistachio crusted halibut, pie, pie, pie….

  113. Must stop reading this blog at work. Now, I will dream about this dish made with the blueberries coming from my CSA. And I have to get my hands on a gratin dish. And decide: sour cream with vanilla? Greek yogurt? Yum.

  114. Strawberries w/ sour cream & brown sugar is one of my fav desserts, so this has got to be good! Making it tonight for friends with fresh berries from the farmers market…

  115. Kate

    Works just as well (maybe too well?) with blueberries and greek yogurt (and a little lemon zest). Like, I need to go buy more blueberries right now well.

  116. Lindsey

    Holy Goodness. I whipped up a blueberry version of this last night for a big BBQ…the college age guys were wary at first but once one of them took the first bite and reported it as incredible, the dish vanished before my eyes. Gone. Just like that. It was also a victory for the gluten-free among us :)

  117. Momto3boys

    I’m so very sad :( I made this today with full fat sour cream and just right raspberries and it came out really watery and it looks as though the sour cream separated. I had to put it back in the oven a few more times because the brown sugar wasn’t quite caramelized enough so I’m wondering if the internal temp got too high. Not sure how to stop that from happening though if I wanted the top caramelized. Any thoughts? Breaks my heart to toss the whole thing out but it is not edible and VERY watery.

    1. deb

      Momto3boys — Not much of an expert on functioning broilers, as I’ve never had one, but it does sound like the sour cream got cooked too much. Just a guess, though. Make sure you’re running the dish under the boiler until it “just starts to” caramelize… it may not be completely done, or pretty like a creme brulee, but the flavor will be there.

  118. This looks incredible! I have to say a pint of sour cream frightens me. I will be passing some farm stands tomorrow…I know they are brimming with raspberries. I think this will be a “must try” for the weekend.

  119. Cayla

    This was AMAZING!!! I’ve been a fan of your blog for quite some time…but have never commented before. I seriously could not get this concoction out of my head today and dashed to the market for the ingredients!!! I substituted the raspberries for strawberries since the raspberries looked like they were suffering from the bubonic plague. I was surprised at how mellow the sour cream tasted in this dish. Will definitely make again…next time in cute little ramekins!!!

    P.S. – My broiler decided to be difficult and I couldn’t get the brown sugar to caramelize all the way…nonetheless…it was still DELICIOUS!!!

  120. Jean Marie

    Oh Deb, you’re getting too popular! I don’t know how I feel about having to scroll down and down to get to the comment box. When my kids were little, I mixed yogurt with brown sugar as a fruit dip and they ate it up. This is the same idea but better.

  121. Cor

    Eek – I think I botched this by using half fat sour cream. The brown sugar carmelized but the sour cream separated and everything is really soupy. Still ate some though and it didn’t taste too shabby, but I think I’ll retry with full fat greek yogurt.

  122. Kay

    oh. my. god. This is so divinely ridiculously good! I just winged it for one serving with equal parts blackberries (farmer’s market! only place to get truly fresh, non-moldy berries if you can’t PYO.) and sour cream, and roughly half as much brown sugar. I didn’t even preheat the broiler, but happily, it’s now nice and hot in time to make some seconds. mmmmm.

  123. shivani

    deb, what are your thoughts on using a creme brulee torch instead of a broiler? is the objective here to get the whole dish warm or just to broil the top?

    1. deb

      shivani — I mention in the post that the torch set the brown sugar on fire. Could be user error, but I wouldn’t do it again. The goal is to brulee the top.

  124. Elizabeth

    YUM! I used fatfree sour cream that I had on hand and only used 1/2 cup of the brown sugar maybe my gratin dish is smaller but it seemed enough and yes a little separating and I don’t normally go for fat free (bought on mistake) but it works and tastes fabulous and mine didn’t turn out too ugly. I’m having to learn my broiler as well and did Hi then Lo and moved the rack down to ensure a nice burn but not blackened!
    Thanks its a keeper!!

  125. Lori

    Tried 2% yogurt and strawberries. Watery and curdled. Tasted OK. Should have had a piece of cake or a biscuit to soak up the liquid. Not sure what to do with the rest, but I am going to try it with sour cream.

    Love your site.

  126. Mellybrown

    This was just the monthly recipe featured in our church newsletter and I was very skeptical. Now that it has your stamp of approval, I’m willing to believe!

  127. Sarah

    I just made this with crème fraîche and strawberries and it was delish! The strawberries were a little tart though so maybe Ill add a little more sugar to the leftovers. Mmm Mmm good for something so simple!

  128. I tried this tonight. I don’t know about the carmelized aspect of this. For me, it was too bitter, even just starting to carmelize. I am wondering about not even heating the sugar. The texture and taste were enough for me to have seconds… I do admit that. But, I would like this to be sweeter than what the carmelized sugar will allow.Thanks for something new for us!!!

  129. Oh, I just read your comment, Deb. The goal is to brulee the top??! Like flat and glassy? Hm… Mine was just beginning to turn, definitely not glassy. Still, I think that I would like to try this again, only not broiled. Yum!!

  130. This is delicious cold, too, for those days when you’re not in the mood to wait for fussy broilers, or it’s too darn hot. It’s my favorite “well, at least there’s fruit” summer dessert. Blueberry and raspberry are my faves, but I remember my mom shutting me up with a sliced banana. Sour cream and brown sugar = of the gods.

  131. In Kentucky, there’s something very similar traditionally served around Derby time: strawberries with Rebecca sauce. Strawberries are in season then, and it’s the easiest dessert a hostess can throw together. Rebecca sauce is simply sour cream and brown sugar stirred together (much like this), but a little Bourbon is added for depth. And, oh man, does it really makes the dish.

    I’ve used Greek-style yogurt once or twice to sub for some of the sour cream; I’ve posted a recipe for it towards the end of this (rather long) post. Can’t wait to try it bruléed!

  132. Alison

    Looks fabulous! I’ll have to try it, but what I usually do with raspberries and sour cream or creme fraiche is the raspberry-marsala-creme fraiche cake recipe from epicurious.com. I’ve been making it every summer for years now and it is always a hit.

  133. I live in Greece so I will be using full fat Greek yogurt, yummm :)
    Raspberries are hard to find here unfortunately- I assume I can use frozen berries? Should I let them defrost before mixing with the yogurt?
    Thanks, love the site.

  134. liz Miles

    HEy Deb, did this with fresh perfect peices of peaches. Cut them into small chunks and followed the rest of the recipe. I’m a private chef – the couple I made it for were a tiny bit dismayed at the lack of beauty on the plate (“dudes, deal it’s awesome” was my thought), but took one bite and fell in love, thanks!!

  135. So, I went to the store, got the raspberries and sour cream, got home and realized the only brown sugar I had was the Brownulated! Tried it, doesn’t work, going to the store for dark brown and will test again over the weekend. One thing I did try though was to add something underneath. We had a lovely pound cake that my wife baked in the angel food cake pan. So I took two slices and toasted them, this gave them a firmer texture. Placed them in the bottom of dish covered completely with raspberry/sour cream mixture and sprinkled on the sugar. Conceptually delish, just need the right sugar to get the best caramelization!

  136. Russ

    Made this last night. In the sour cream container I mixed in a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and a capful of vanilla extract. Since my raspberries were half-way moldy (quel surprise) I used a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. I backed off a little on the brown sugar – didn’t need a full cup to cover the gratin dish – more like 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Put it in under the broiler for 4 minutes. Looked at the dish and thought it needed another minute. Took it out at 5 minutes. Ate the results with my wife. Before trying it, she commented that I had made too much gratin. We finished the entire thing and wanted more! Thanks for the great and super easy recipe.

  137. Maria

    YUM! I cannot believe how delicious this simple dish was – start to finish it took maybe 4 minutes. I did use yogurt, but I bet it would be even better with sour cream. My brown sugar carmelized beautifully with 2 minutes under the broiler, it came out glassy like a brulee topping, and was not in the least bit ugly! I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe for raspberries again!

  138. Just discovered your site. Love the sassy writing and the honest, gorgeous food. Where you from, Girl? You cook like a southerner! I’m off to the garden to pick the berries, & I’ll be back for more.
    Lynn

  139. Karen

    I’m hoping this will work with raw turbinado sugar, but if it doesn’t and you need brown sugar, guys, just mix some molasses into your white sugar until it looks like brown sugar.

    Oh and Deb, this is gluten free. So you could definitely add that tag to this recipe!

  140. Nicole

    Okay, so I’ve now made this three times in as many days. This morning I covered half-toasted waffles with berries, sour cream and a tablespoon or so of brown sugar and popped them back in the toaster oven for a minute or two. Gah, so good!

  141. Stasia

    I tried it with greek yogurt and under the broiler. It was tasty (oh my yes), but the heat from the broiler cooked the yogurt a bit, so there were odd bits of solid yogurt. Not untasty, but, well, unexpected. I’m going to try it with a small, handheld torch to see if I can get the sugar crust without the cooked yogurt.

    I used strawberries fresh from the farmer’s market and it was delicious!

    Stasia

  142. Morgan

    Ooooooooh, perfect! Was wondering what else to do with all the raspberries proliferating my backyard (enough jelly already). So simple, so quick, so…can’t wait for dinner tonight! Thanks Deb.

  143. Naomi

    @Momto3boys I had the same problem, and realise now I probably cooked too long. Was still yum though. I tipped out some liquid onto muesli for a very delicious breakfast, tipped some down the sink and let then dish sit in fridge for 2 days (OK, and ate some in the interim). Afterwards it looked pretty ugly but tasted great.

  144. Lisa Roth

    I’ve been eating this combo “raw” (without running it under the broiler) since I was a child. It’s still my favorite way to eat berries. There’s something about the brown sugar and sour cream that is just the perfect blend of sweet, tang and texture. Try with blue berries and you can even pretend you’re eating something healthy.

  145. Terteach

    Deb–my daughter (who lives in Brooklyn and is going to culinary school) introduced me to your site, and now I am totally smitten! Reading your posts just makes me smile every time! Now…when you get the Jeremiah Tower book, YOU MUST try the Warm Berry Compote. Until I read your recipe here, it was totally my go-to dessert when good fresh berries are around. I have a feeling this recipe here will be my new go-to. Now for a little “Twilight Zone” moment—my daughter went to a wonderful little pre-school two days a week with Jeremiah Tower’s sister-in-law! I just love how things connect—isn’t it great that it’s usually the food that is the glue?

  146. Rachel

    Deb, this is definitely gluten free, as long as “real” sour cream is used. Reduced-fat sour cream sometimes contains gluten-containing ingredients to stabilize it and make it thicker. Brown sugar is fine, since molasses is gluten free! I have a small amount of thick greek yogurt in the fridge, and am trying to decide if its fate should be this or those peach cupcakes! It is a most agonizing decision, let me tell you.

  147. dana

    This was amazing – but mine was really runny. can’t figure out why. any ideas? i used 1 pint of creme fraiche to 1 pint berries – half raspberry, half blackberry. did i cook for too long maybe? any hints would be great – THANKS! (By the way – my family also of Russian descent and strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar was almost nightly dessert for us – YUM!)

  148. Leanne

    OH MY WORD!!!! Just made this. Took a grand total of nothing minutes and it was the most luxurious, scrumptious, oozy, sweet pot of deliciousness! Something so simple can give such major goodness!

  149. Mia

    I am intrigued. Loved the way you described this. You’ve sold me on it, though its looks are questionable. I will most certainly make and eat this with relish.

  150. Alisha

    ……………………….. wow. Holy crap wow. That is the single most easiest dessert on the planet. (is that a sentence?) That’s even easier than driving to the bakery for cupcakes! I used blueberries and strawberries and low fat sour cream and it knocked my socks off … and my boyfriend’s too. We ate it all though, had no room left for homemade Bobotie. (What’s wrong with dessert before dinner?) More bobotie for my lunch tomorrow! :D

  151. Deb, What a great idea for a dessert. However, the calories are pretty high. I am going to try this with fat free sour cream and splenda brown sugar and see how it comes out. I really like your blog. ;)

  152. I just made this, in five minutes, for a snack, and it was absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating it out of the pan. I used a combination of raspberries and blackberries.

  153. This sounds a lot like a dessert I’ve made using raspberries and peaches and topping them with a ” creme patissiere” (pastry cream) and brown sugar under the broil. I think the pastry cream adds another dimension and is worth trying even though you have more than three ingredients to contend with. Hope you try this version.

  154. Vicki W

    I just pulled mine out of the oven (made with blackberries), and it is sooooo good. The brown sugar did get a tad scorched, but quite frankly it’s a bit like charring your marshmallows over a campfire. I like!

  155. Jill

    I used blueberries… and it was watery. Didn’t stop me from eating almost ALL of it though. ;-) Next time, I’m make sure to get the fruit REALLY dry first.

  156. jam

    So delicious. Mine turned out runny, but a night in the fridge took care of that. I just made it for the second time in 2 days, and again pulled it out runny. I think I am overcooking it.

  157. My mum used to make something similar when I was growing up using peaches, half natural yoghurt and half sour cream, lots of brown sugar and studded with marshmallows! I remember it being delicious at the time… I wonder whether I’d still think so? Maybe I should try it, though I might leave out the marshmallows :-)

  158. Joe

    This is so good it is obscene! With only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, I was leery that it would be as good as it is. No need to monkey with flavoring the sour cream or swapping out with creme fraîche or yogurt. Just perfect!!!

  159. I made the Greek yogurt variation on this for brunch this morning, using a mixture of raspberries and blackberries. I also halved the brown sugar, and my friend and I agreed that for the brunch variant this was a good decision — it made it seem as though we were having a light berry/yogurt part of brunch instead of brunch dessert (. . . which it kind of still was). Regardless, this was phenomenally good.

  160. Sally

    I made this for brunch (w. sour cream – it’s never too early for sour cream…) this morning and it was DELICIOUS. Impossible to use a sieve, so I just sprinkled it w. my fingers. Next time I’d halve the sugar…

    BTW – I live in Boston, and how is it possible that raspberries are already out of season? None to be had at the farmers’ market…

  161. I just made this with apples and creme fraiche. Really delicious, but the creme did curdle and seperate in a weird way. Also the brown sugar dissolved with the creme, didn’t make a sexy crust like yours! Delicious though!

  162. smileyd

    I made this last night for a dinner party and served it with your raspberry buttermilk cake. It was so easy to make and tasted amazing, everybody loved it!

  163. Debby, sorry, yes, all cold. Fresh berries in a bowl, a dollop of sour cream, and a generous sprinkling of sugar. If in doubt, set it up like some have suggested, with separate bowls to dunk in.

    Great, now I have to go find berries! Yum.

  164. I was once sick, in high school, just after discovering strawberries dipped in sour cream and dark brown sugar. I can only imagine broiled would be oh, so much better. Let’s hope I’ve learned a little restraint….

  165. Amy J

    This was delicious! I had to use light brown sugar with my fresh local raspberries and sour cream, but it was great and so simple. I made it last night and ate the rest for breakfast. Thanks!

  166. Amy M D

    Made it for dessert tonight with blackberries. I couldn’t bring myself to put so much sugar on them, but then decided while eating it that it could have used the entire amount. I also think I’ll try it with light bown sugar, too.

  167. Katie

    Oh my goodness, that was amazing! We had some just-about-to-die strawberries and blueberries in the fridge, so in they went! It’s official, my son will now eat strawberries, so long as they’re swathed in sour cream and brown sugar. A total hit!

  168. jay

    Deb, I made this today with fresh-picked blueberries and full-fat Greek yogurt (store made from Mediterranean in Astoria). I doubled the recipe for brunch for 4 which included lots of other things. And. We. Ate. It. All. Also had your carrot and harissa salad this weekend which I made for 2nd time in half a week. Thanks!

  169. Sue C

    I made this with Greek yogurt last night, and it was soooo good. It was just for me, and I made it in a medium sized ramekin, estimating on the ingredients. Will definitely be making it again! Have some peaches from the Farmer’s Market that also look like good candidates.

  170. Gina

    I made this with blackberries and raspberries. The pie plate (I’m growing my serving dish collection – gratin, next) was licked clean. Literally. I’ll be making this for when the in-laws meet my parents.

  171. Two tips: If your broiler is anything like mine, keep a sharp eye on this. My sugar almost immediately got scorched. Took it out, removed the burnt bits, added some new sugar and put it in one shelf lower.

    Awesome.

    Also, this can be prepared to great effect in a Weber BBQ. At the end of the BBQ thrown in a fresh handful of charcoal, open all vents to get the heat going and all is well.

  172. I made this with blueberries over the weekend, and it was utterly fantastic!! thank you so much for this super simple, utterly delicious dessert! I’m going to make this all the time!!

  173. Karen

    Perhaps I’m jaded, but i made this (with Greek yogurt, and raspberries) and..it just didn’t ring my bells or anything. I think the huge amount of sugar had something to do with it, so maybe making it with less sugar? It was just…good, but not amazing, nothing I’d serve to guests. My kids looked at it and said, “Ugh.” One boy tried it and said the browned sugar was “icky”. Maybe i have weird taste buds that have been passed down to the children.

  174. I just did a smaller version of this last night with blueberries that were a little too tart to eat plain. I was skeptical, I’ll be honest. But, hello, amaaazing! Why is this so good?? Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.

  175. abby

    I tried it again with Greek yogurt (couldn’t find full fat, so I used 2%) and a raspberry/blackberry combo, and I was definitely less wowed this time around. Sticking to full fat sour cream next time!

  176. I made this this past weekend and didn’t have enough sour cream so I subbed in some Fage yogurt, and it was SOOOOOO good. The crispy brown sugar bits were such a great texture-enhancement! I was scared of it after it spent the night in my fridge (it does look a bit like zombie goop), and was cold, but I dug right in anyway and was rewarded for my bravery. Wonderful recipe!

  177. Teresa

    I was only a little skeptical about this dish since the raspberry buttermilk cake, from this site, turned out so good. I decided to risk our last berries from the garden on it. I prepared it with greek yogurt, vanilla & lemon zest in individual gratin dishes that have wicker baskets for serving. Amazing. Now I have to buy more of these gratin dishes because this is the most fool proof and yet elegant dessert. I want to have a party so I can serve it!

  178. rachel

    I just made this today!! I used greek yoghurt, and added some vanilla and honey to the mix. It came out pretty soupy, but it was so absolutely delicious! I’m thinking next time I may try some icelandic skyr since that is even thicker than greek yoghurt. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  179. Melanie

    I’m about to make this for the 3rd time! How could those 3 ingredients NOT be amazing! Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  180. Katie

    Deb, your recipes are always fantastic and I love that they can always be trusted. For this one, I already knew it would be tasty: growing up, my mom served a simple, summery dessert of a bowl of fresh strawberries, a bowl of sour cream or plain yogurt (whichever we had on hand), and a bowl of brown sugar. Dunk in cream, dunk in sugar = delicious! This dish is similar with crispy bits as a bonus. Thank you!
    -Katie

  181. Ree

    Ok, so I tried the orginal recipe and of course loved it, but have now moved on to the greek yogurt version and love it even more. I have made a small dish for myself the last three mornings. Tomorrow morning, I am doing it with wonderful, juicy peaches. This is a great, quick and yummy breakfast.

  182. Ruth

    Ok so did no one else think to try this with cream cheese mixed into the sour cream/ yogurt? To me that sounds like it would be a match made in heaven!

  183. Joey

    I expected to love this, as dipping strawberries in sour cream and brown sugar is a longstanding favorite of mine. While I quite liked it, it wasn’t my favorite thing ever. Too much sour cream or something in the version I did, although I followed the recipe. … I don’t know, wasn’t wowed. Then I stirred the leftovers together into a pink mush and put it into my ice cream freezer. HEAVEN.

  184. Trudy

    So yummy! I made this for breakfast with blueberries and sour cream – and had it for breakfast with peaches – and then made it again after dinner. I bet I could do it with peaches too!

  185. Mary

    halved this and made it this morning with blackberries. soooo good. wish I would have made the full recipe so my daughter and I could eat the leftovers this evening.

  186. I was skeptical, but made this last night with blueberries and it was delicious. Possibly the easiest dessert one could ever make. Watch it carefully under the broiler…this baby cooks fast!

  187. again, this looks delicious. and I will be makign this soon, with the creme fraiche, because I hate sour cream but this looks tasty and raspberries will be out of season before I know what hit me. Yeah, I like run on sentences and raspberries!

  188. Dana

    I have been reading your blog for months now and really love your recipes, writing style, and photos. I was visiting friends this weekend and surprise surprise, our host is also one of your readers. She brought this out for our Sunday brunch waffle topping (the greek yogurt version). It was truly amazing! I want to eat this every day!

    Thanks!

  189. Beth

    Laurie’s right about watching this carefull. Made this last night, also with blueberries and took it out too soon since it was getting so charred, but the bottom hadn’t even gotten warm. Back in for just a few minutes and ugly perfection achieved. Those sugar bits are UNBELIEVABLE.

  190. Hollyberry

    Yummy. We did a taste test tonight with 3 separate choices: all sour cream, half/half sour cream and yogurt and all yogurt. We all preferred the half/half. Thanks for another great recipe!

  191. Jamie

    I used 2% Greek yogurt with a few drops of vanilla and a few sprinkles of cinnamon, blueberries, blackberries, and cut strawberries. A little runnier than the version pictured, but seriously tasty…who wouldn’t want to eat their daily fruits like this?

  192. Heather

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! The kids helped me make this on Wednesday evening and they loved it. We used greek yogurt. Last night, I was taking dinner to my mother who had been in the hospital this week. Right before I ran out the door with dinner, I thought, “hey, why don’t I throw together the gratin?” So in about 3 min, I had a fresh, summery dessert. They loved it too!

  193. I tried this last night with blueberries, Greek yogurt and Splenda brown sugar as the topping. Holy moly, was it fabulous! It didn’t form the same crust that you have shown but I’m guessing it tasted equally as wonderful. Thanks for sharing this and sparking some ideas!

  194. JackieDee

    I tried this with some underripe peaches…..and I’m not sure what happened but it got very wet….it still tasted nice, but it truly was appalling to look at the next day. I think I’d pack (more) fruit in as closely as possible too, if I were to do this again. It was gorgeously novel to taste the not quite sweet fruit/cream with the hint of deep brown sugar. Yum.

  195. ChristieLee

    We made this last night with raspberries, creme fraiche mixed with some vanilla extract and the brown sugar. FANTASTIC!!!

  196. Joseph

    My wife and I made this with SC peaches (mmm) and Greek style yogurt made from regular yogurt. The dish looked nice and tasted ok, but tasted plainly like yogurt with peaches with a little sweetener. Maybe the sugar didn’t end up right, or we should have used berries with sour cream. Very quick and easy though, and not a bad way to bring through the flavor of fresh fruit in a dessert.

  197. Jill

    Made this a second time with raspberries. It’s delicious, and although this time I made sure the berries were very dry (unlike when I made it with blueberries), upon cooling even slightly, it became runny. What are you all doing that this is not a common complain…?

  198. This became very runny and the sour cream was almost curdled. My husband swears that it is okay and would probably work over a cake base but I told him maybe on pancakes.

    I wanted this to work so badly. This just wasn’t.

    My husband did take the left overs and added some vanilla extract and a bit more brown sugar. I am not a fan but my husband hasn’t given up.

  199. I make something similar – Sour Cream Blackberry Pie. It is basically just blackberries in a pie crust topped with a mixture of sour cream and brown sugar then baked. Divine. Must try with raspberries!

  200. Britt

    My thighs hate you. My “have to stay healthy bathing suit season is in” mentality hates you.

    However, every other part of me loves you for introducing me to this recipe. I almost never keep sour cream in the house because I just don’t eat it but happened to have some leftover from a cake… I ate almost an entire containers worth (full fat eugh) this was so flipping delicious. I used blueberries because that’s what I had & it was phenomenal. I was a bit nervous about the tartness being overpowering but I underestimated the power of brown sugar.

    I don’t understand why some people are getting such bad results… Mine wasn’t even close to curdling & it definitely wasn’t runny. Maybe it was because I used full fat cream? I bought a container of Greek yogurt specifically to try this again (sans the guilt). I will report back.

  201. Jessica

    This dessert dish is so yummy and simple (takes like 15 minutes)!

    We made it using greek yogurt, 1 pint of fresh strawberries (quartered), and reduced sugar to 1/2 cup, which was still plenty sweet. Broiled it until the brown sugar was bubbling slightly, then ate immediately. My husband kept saying, “Mmmm! Wow! This is SO good.” I think he was surprised at how tasty it was considering it’s simplicity and fast prep time. Between the two of us, we ate almost all of it during our first sitting. Thanks, Deb, for sharing so many ingenious recipes!

  202. Mairi

    Oh my – sounds amazing – I will have to file away until raspberries in seaosn here in NZ though may have to try with forzen berries.

  203. Jashke

    Wow, i am so excited to try this! i just discovered this blog today after my friend who made me the ratatouille sent me the link. (Which is on the list of things for my last meal for sure! if not my favourite.) I am so happy. Thank you so much, i can’t wait to explore you’re other recipes!

  204. Mmm – made this last night with blueberries and white peaches (what we had). I used Greek Yogurt and it was great!
    I decreased the sugar b/c it was honey yogurt, but it just wasn’t quite right – next time I’ll use plain yogurt and all the sugar – seems like a lot, but i can see how it’s necessary for the brulee-like topping.
    And thanks for the warning about the leftovers. They did indeed look like something had died, but tasted delicious for breakfast!

  205. Stephanie

    My husband had a brilliant idea of putting the brown sugar through our rotary cheese grater. I was skeptical but it worked like a charm!

    Deb: I sent you an email with the video, but it may have gone to spam.

  206. tmv

    This was excellent. I used 2 percent Greek yogurt and fresh blackberries from the farmer’s market. I also added a quarter teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract. Wonderful.

  207. so I made this last Sunday afternoon for a little pool party we were having. I put this thing out on the patio table and went inside to turn off the oven and do a couple of other things. Ten minutes later when I went back outside it was gone. I didn’t get to try it. Is it good?

  208. DSPinCAR

    I found a somewhat similar recipe earlier this year, in an old Maine Recipes fundraiser-type cookbook that was gifted to me by a loving neighbor from back home. Given that I now live in Russian-speaking country in the former Soviet Union, the “Russian Raspberry Pudding” recipe caught my eye. This version called for two eggs and much less sugar to be thrown in the mix (2 cups berries, 2 eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1 Tbs sugar), and is baked for 40-45 mins instead of broiled…but was just as much of a hit with my dinner party crowd. I’ll have to try the version posted here, since it sounds more summery (I made my version in January, so, yes, I used frozen berries stored from the previous fall).

    Curiously, I couldn’t find a single Russian here that identifies this as a Russian dish…but they all ate it happily anyway :oP

  209. Taylor

    This was delicious! I added blackberries and just a touch of almond extract. Rave reviews all around. Thanks for the recipe! I’m always a fan of the recipes with just a few ingredients. Keep them coming!

  210. jenniegirl

    My grandma used to set us up with a big bowl of strawberries, a bowl of sour cream and a bowl of brown sugar-the sugar would stick to the brown sugar and the memory of it reminds me of summer.
    Loved this recipe-made it with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (I’m pregnant and what can I say…baby likes berries…it’s the only thing I’m really hungry for these days). I made a single (um, double?) serving, but will use yogurt next time-sour cream was a bit heavy.

  211. jamie

    I made mine with fat free Greek yoghurt and blueberries which was great, however under my electric broiler the brown sugar burned on top before the rest of the sugar melted. Once I scraped the burnt part off it became more “breakfasty” but yummy nonetheless. Will try it again as per the recipe for sure. Thanks Deb!

  212. camille

    so interesting to read about other people’s history with these items… I always thought they were a weird, but oh, so delicious, combo, as my nana served blueberries mixed with sourcream and brown sugar to my sister and I every summer since I was little…

  213. Maggie

    Holy bananas, this was amazing. I made it last week while on vacation with some fresh and local Maine raspberries and blueberries and had some friends over for dinner. We all just about died when we put the first bites in our mouths. So easy and SO delicious. I also went with a little bit of vanilla in with the sour cream. Heavenly!

  214. Deidre

    This was impossibly good! I made half a recipe using raspberries that had been living in the fridge for a while, and it was such a hit! My boyfriend and I polished off the whole batch, no problem.

  215. Oh my god. I made this just this morning with blackberries. Even though I left it under the broiler about 20 seconds too long and it made a nice, hard shell, lol…..this was brilliant! I’m going to try it with strawberries next!! :)

  216. James Bong

    OhMyFabulousGargamel! I substituted Marscipone for half the sour cream and added a little pumpkin spice and vanilla. The fruit was strawberries, raspberries, and black berries. GUH!

    One mistake though. I put the brown sugar on too soon and it liquefied. …still tasted amazing though!

  217. So yummy! Tried this tonight with blackberries (store was out of raspberries!). Added a little bit of vanilla yogurt to the sour cream (didn’t have enough sour cream), added a tad bit of vanilla & cinnamon to that. Used a 9×9 baking pan. Left it under the broiler in the oven just a tad too long…it was a good thing I sat there to baby-sit it, as it didn’t take more than 2 minutes & some of the sugar burnt & started to smoke. =/ hah. Still tasted yummy though (except for the really burnt sugar bits). Very sweet & rich. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  218. rose

    this was delicious and interesting at the same time. on another website, someone called it a “poor man’s creme brulee”…for some reason that resonated with me after making the dish. if you like sour cream, chances are you will like this – you can taste every ingredient (being only 3 after all!) and the brown sugar creates a nice crunchy crust. i have a few reservations about serving it to company…which i did anyway. most people were skeptical but warmed to it after tasting, but it certainly does not impress anyone sitting by its lonesome…poor fella. anyway, a tasty simple treat that i’m sure i will make again for myself!

  219. Gretchen

    I just tried this as we had some raspberries at the farmers market (yes, in November, crazy! Maybe they have a greenhouse.) I used a lot less sugar, just sprinkling on enough to cover. It was quite tasty and incredibly easy, though it made a half cup of sour cream per person vanish with disturbing ease. I think it would work equally well with a lot of other fruit, and with Greek yogurt.

  220. I made this exactly as described with the addition of a bit of raspberry liquor to the berries and loved it. I am anxious to try with Greek yogurt to see if the flavor and texture is as great, with a few less calories though.

  221. Jordan

    I made this with strawberries right after it was posted and again, also with strawberries, tonight. It’s been delicious both times, but my family and I agree that it needs far less goop. It was ridiculous the first time; this time I only used one cup and it still seemed like too much. Next time, I’ll probably go down to half a cup–but there will be a next time, believe me.

  222. Made this using low fat sour cream and enough brown sugar to cover nicely but not too thickly. I watched it like a hawk and was dubious when I pulled it out of the oven; it really is a homely dessert. I served it up with apologies for its appearance. WE ALL LOVED IT. All I kept saying was, “Only THREE ingredients!!!” and all my guests kept saying was, “Only THREE ingredients???” (We’d had a lot of wine at that point.) This is fabulous — and stupidly easy. Five people killed it and would’ve had more if there’d been any. Served it w/ almond biscotti. Next time I’ll add some honey or vanilla or almond extract to the sour cream just to try something different. I’ll also add a bit more fruit or a bit less sour cream.

  223. Stacey

    Was dreaming of this today while picking a pint of the lingering raspberries at my CSA farm. (it has stayed in my head since I read the post last
    Year!) I got home to find that I had no sour cream! I subbed a mixture of vanilla yogurt and a creamy local farm Ricotta that I whisked together. Simply dreamy!

  224. I made this exactly as described with the addition of a bit of raspberry liquor to the berries and loved it. I am anxious to try with Greek yogurt to see if the flavor and texture is as great, with a few less calories though.

  225. K. Petrova

    From your opening statement to your last, you are cracking me up. I will also tell my husband that he is obliged to love this as well. I’m going to check my blackberries in the fridge for mold and just go for it with some Greek yogurt. The Ruskies love their berries, so blueberries are definitely next for this recipe.

  226. Was dreaming of this today while picking a pint of the lingering raspberries at my CSA farm. (it has stayed in my head since I read the post last
    Year!) I got home to find that I had no sour cream! I subbed a mixture of vanilla yogurt and a creamy local farm Ricotta that I whisked together. Simply dreamy!

  227. bell

    Ugh, Deb, you’re killing me here! This looks too good. Do you think it would work with rhubarb? If so, would you recommend adding sugar to the rhubarb or would the sugar topping suffice for sweetness?

    Thanks

    Bell

  228. bell

    I’m not quite sure what went wrong with mine – I followed your instructions using reduced fat sour cream (I know, it’s just not the same!) and raspberries and I had the same problem that some other commenter had… I think her name’s Brenda, but I’m not too sure. ANYWAY, it split and curdled leaving quite a watery mess beneath and not looking delicious as yours does. Do you think this is down to the fact that I used the blasphemous reduced fat sour cream and that there’s just too much water content?

  229. Carola

    Finding myself with farmers’ market raspberries that were disappointingly beyond-tart-verging-on-sour and some sour cream that needed to be used, I turned to smittenkitchen for an idea, thinking along the lines of one of your summer cakes. But then I spotted this one in the index – just perfect for what I needed to use but no need to bake a cake! I’m eating it for breakfast: old-fashioned oats mixed with non-fat greek yogurt and allowed to soften for a while in the refrigerator, topped with some sliced strawberries, and then some of the gratin (also from the refrigerator) spooned on top. This is really good.

  230. LadyBB

    I can’t get this to work! I used a little less sugar than recommended, 3/4 cup, but I don’t think that’s the problem.
    First, the sugar completely burned (smoke detector went off…) when the broiler was on HI.
    I took off the burnt layer and added more sugar (following suggestions of other comments). I took it out when it was just starting to bubble but some of the sugar was still grainy and it tasted sickly sweet.
    Then I put it back in and the sour cream turned soupy.
    Then my boyfriend suggested I take “an online cooking course, or something.”

    Should the broiler be on LO? on HI? How long does this stay in exactly? What is it supposed to taste like?

    1. deb

      Sorry LadyBB, my broiler only has one setting and it’s not terribly hot. If yours has two, definitely try the lower one. I hope you have more luck next time.

  231. BB

    It can’t be a true “Russian” gratin because until recently, it was nearly impossible to find brown sugar in the country. But, it is a fun name for it anyway. :)

  232. Jane McLeod

    Hi Deb,

    I have been waiting for an excuse to make this and this weekend is now calling this raspberry gratin’s name!

    I just wanted to know if the sour cream should be brought to room temp beforehand? I also have a pesky landlord-budget friendly oven, and will need to tweak accordingly :)

    Thank you!

  233. Nicole

    Made this with Greek yogurt and raspberries fresh from my garden – turned out amazing. Can’t wait to make this for brunch!

  234. Janet

    OK. I’ll be honest, I didn’t READ all three hundred + comments in case this was already asked–so shoot me! But…

    I was just sitting here planning a dinner party menu for next week, and recalled a yummy dessert I hadn’t made in probably 20 years! I’d seen it on TV. It was a layer of fresh raspberries, a layer of thinly sliced fresh figs, covered with cream and broil sugar, and broiled!

    Imagine my delight when YOUR gratin recipe popped up!, thank you thank you thank you!

    And now my question: how many servings does your recipe make? Thanks!

    PS made your “Oreos” Labor Day weekend–the favorite once again!

  235. AnikkiV

    just now found myself in a jam when a friend called and asked me to bring dessert for a casual dinner party tonight. Found this recipe and since I had the ingredients on hand thought I’d give it a quick ramekin sized test using FROZEN blackberries and full fat greek yogurt. Added 1/8 tsp of lemon extract to the yogurt. Defrosted the berries in the microwave and patted then dry. It worked GREAT! I will use more lemon tonight (extract and zest) to offset the sweet. LIFESAVER!

  236. cindy

    my mom used to make something VERY similar to this when i was growing up. sliced bananas and raspberries in a baking dish, pour heavy cream over, top with brown sugar and bake. creme fraiche would just put it even more over the edge. yum!

  237. Peggy Larson

    Reminds me of my mom’s favorite, simplest, fastest dessert. Green grapes mixed with sour cream and brown sugar sprinkled on top. Makes a pretty cup!

  238. Erin K.

    This looks wonderful AND also like something I’ve already learned to make or adapted also from YOU. It took me a little while to figure out why it seemed so familiar to me but for me its from your Peach Creme Fraiche Pie – Which I keep a print out of in my permanent family recipe binder attached to the all butter pie crust – It has become to go to pie and crust – but also the jumping off point for tossing any fruit or berry with creme fraiche and putting it on a crust and tossing in the oven – your fruit and berries with creme fraiche current runs deep! Thank you!

    also – there is a highly sentimental note in that my Nana (great grandmother and all around favorite person) loved to eat blueberries with sour cream and brown sugar. I would have totally made this for her is she were still here.

  239. F

    I wanted to make this with Greek yogurt, but apparently it’s now impossible to find non-non fat Greek yogurt. So I used 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of fat free Greek yogurt. It’s absolutely delicious, and a keeper.

  240. Lyn

    When I was a kid, my mom would get strawberries and we would dip them first in sour cream, then brown sugar. It was our favorite picnic dessert.
    I can’t wait to try out this grown up version.

  241. deb

    Re, mascarpone — Haven’t tried it but see comments #105 and #162, it’s not just you that’s curious. I looked and looked for the recipe referenced in 105, and it looks like it’s actually a mascarpone custard made with eggs, milk, etc. and cooked and then that custard is baked with raspberries in the oven so not as much of a lead as I’d hoped.

  242. Allison

    Very tasty! Unfortunately, the texture was all wrong for me. I must have over-cooked it, as it was very soup-y and liquid like other commenters experienced. Then I put it in the fridge to see if it would firm up, and it became grainy. Very disappointing, but I’ll just have to try again!

  243. Bree

    If you are subbing yogurt for the sour cream, don’t make the mistake I just did. Used a very good, thick, full fat yogurt but it was a soupy curdled mess at the end. I think my mistake was not using Greek yogurt specifically.

  244. Monika

    Have been bumping through your recipes and ever-so-amusing blogs; looked at this and thought “hm, this looks kinda familiar.” Have a recipe from an old Sunset cookbook that uses peach halves, brown sugar with a bit of cinnamon, warmed in the peach syrup, and then served with sour cream spooned on top. First time I saw the recipe (many, many years ago) I thought “Ick, sour cream with peaches – how totally not-edible sounding.” Then I tried it. Bells rang, angels sang, and I’ve been making it ever since. So this looks like a lovely variation….