Goat Cheese Custards with Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup
Makes 4 servings
I tried various permutations; milk, cream, and half-and-half, and either works fine. I bake these in small portions, and since the bulk of dessert is fruit, I feel little guilt indulging in the richness of cream, which, of course, yields the smoothest result. If you use milk, they’ll cook somewhat faster, so keep an eye on them. See note at the end for advice on ensuring a smooth end result.
Goat cheese custard
5 ounces (140g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) milk, cream, or half-and-half
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1/8 extract
Red wine syrup
1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
3 tablespoons (50g) sugar
1/2 to 1 small basket (about 4 ounces, 100g) of strawberries
Goat cheese custard
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
2. Place four custard cups or ramekins in a deep baking dish or pan.
3. Blend together the goat cheese, sugar, milk (or cream), egg yolks, and vanilla for 30 seconds until very smooth.
4. Divide the mixture into the custard cups; each should be a bit more than half full.
5. Add warm tap water to the baking pan, to make a water bath for baking the custards. The water should reach to about halfway up the side of each custard cup.
6. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 to 20-minutes.
7. When done, remove the custards from the water bath and cool completely.
Red wine syrup
1. In a non-reactive skillet, cook the red wine and sugar until the bubbles get thick (see photo above.)
Once the syrup is reduced to half its original quantity (1/4 cup, 60ml), remove from heat and scrape into a bowl to cool completely.
2. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries. Toss in syrup, let stand for a minute to two, then spoon onto custards.

Storage & serving: Custards are best served at room temperature. They can be chilled up to two days in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, then brought to room temperature prior to serving.

Note: Ovens can vary and custards are notoriously variable in their baking time. Bake them until they just stop quivering loosely when you jiggle the pan. Don’t overbake them; if you’re unsure, remove them from the oven before you think they’re done and let them rest covered with foil. That usually does the trick, and they’ll glide gently into baked-custard perfection.