Rich creamy custard cups layered with rich white chocolate and homemade blackberry sauce are the elegant dessert you have been missing. Featuring frozen Oregon blackberries, these blackberry white chocolate pots de creme offer a taste of summer any time of year. This small batch recipe is designed for 3 servings, but can be doubled or more to feed a crowd. With instructions for both the Instant Pot and a traditional water bath, you can use the method that best fits you and your kitchen. Perfect for date night and dinner parties alike, these delightful single serving desserts are sure to please.
Thank you Oregon Berries for sponsoring today’s post. To learn more, check out their website at Oregon Berries.
When it comes to finding the best tasting blackberries, nothing beats the ones grown right here in Oregon. Whether you are picking them from a wild patch on the side of the road or grabbing them from the farmer’s market, the juicy sweetness is unrivaled because our the ideal growing environment. I know I pick more than I can eat in a season and freezing the extras. Frozen berries make for delicious sweets and treats, like this one, all year round.
So what about those of you who can’t pull over on your way home from work to grab fresh blackberries? You are in luck! Oregon family farms pick their blackberries at the peak of the season and freeze them within 24 hours to lock in the flavor, before distributing them across the country.
These frozen berries are delicious on their own, but also taste amazing in one of my many blackberry concoctions. Try my Blackberry Lime Tart, Wild Blackberry Muffins, or these Pork Chops with Blackberry Applesauce. So check the freezer section of your local grocery for blackberries from Oregon. For more information about why we do it best check out Oregon Berries.
What are Pots de Creme?
Pots de creme (pronounced poh de krem) is a fancy French way of saying cups of custard. They are similar to creme brulee and are made of eggs or egg yolks, cream, milk, and sugar. The difference: pots de creme sets up slightly looser and isn’t topped with a crunchy layer of toasted sugar.
This blackberry white chocolate version combines two of my favorite dessert components: blackberry and white chocolate. While I very much wanted to make it all in a single layer, the extra moisture in the blackberry sauce made the custard break.
If you’ve never seen broken custard, it kind of looks like curdled milk. It also has a similar effect on my stomach. Dividing the white chocolate and blackberry sauce into two layers gives the best of both worlds and I hope once you’ve tried it you agree.
Making Blackberry Sauce
This is my favorite blackberry sauce. I usually make it at the end of the summer with blackberries so ripe they fall apart in your fingers.
It keeps well in the freezer and is delicious on ice cream and yogurt. You can also use it in cocktail, like a blackberry bourbon fizz or blackberry margarita. In the mood for baking? Slather it on biscuits or between cake layers, like you would use a citrus curd.
The amount specified in the recipe makes just enough for this dessert. However, you can easily double or triple it to make enough to stock your fridge or freezer.
This year I ran out of this sauce early, so for today’s recipe I made the sauce from frozen berries. Whether you use fresh or frozen, it is important to both cook and blend the berries. Cooking them breaks down the fiber, while blending them makes separating the seeds from the pulp and juice so much easier.
Melting the chocolate: stovetop or microwave?
The only difference between the traditional pots de creme and a white chocolate pots de creme is the addition of melted white chocolate. I recommend using high quality baking chocolate, as it will give you the best texture. Before adding it to the custard, melt the chocolate on the stovetop using a double boiler or in the microwave.
Can you use dark or milk chocolate? Absolutely! As long as it’s quality chocolate, the quantity of cacao in the bar won’t change the texture of the custard.
To use a double boiler, add a couple of inches of water to the bottom of a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Break the chocolate into squares and place it in a small glass or metal bowl that can be placed over the saucepan without slipping down into the water. Stack the bowl of chocolate over the boiling water and stir the chocolate as it melts. It’s done when the chocolate is a smooth creamy consistency. Remove from the heat until ready to use, but keep the water handy in case the chocolate needs a little more melting before use.
To melt the chocolate in the microwave, chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 20 second intervals, stopping to stir between each one, until the chocolate is mainly melted. The residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate as you stir. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. Set the melted chocolate aside until ready to use. If it solidifies too much before you’re ready for it, pop it back in for another 10 seconds.
Instant Pot vs. Water Bath
When testing this recipe I had more failures in the Instant Pot version than I did when using a water bath in the oven. While that may be because I’m more familiar with the water bath, I learned from my errors want you to be able to do the same.
For all baked custard based desserts, including pots de creme, creme brulee, and cheesecakes, they must be baked in a moist environment. The Instant Pot seems like a no brainer and while there is a slight learning curve, it really does have it’s advantages over a traditional water bath.
The Instant Pot provides an ideal moist environment, it doesn’t require space in your oven to bake, and on a hot day it allows you to avoid using your oven at all. The one place it doesn’t win is time. Between the average 12 minutes that it takes to come to pressure (for an 8 quart IP), the 6 minute bake time, and the 15 minute natural pressure release the total time is about 33 minutes. Compared to the 30 – 35 minute bake time in an oven, it’s not actually a time saver. Still, the IP will be my new go-to for water bath baked treats.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no need to worry. Pots de creme have been being produced using a water bath in an oven since some time during the 17th century. While an Instant Pot does have it’s advantages, the water bath still produces great results.
Tips for Instant Pot Success
- Use oven safe bowls/ramekins/jars – they need to be able to withstand the pressure and heat.
- Start with hot water in the bottom of your Instant Pot instead of cold to reduce the time it takes to come to pressure (about 8 minutes instead of 12 minutes).
- Cover the jars individually to prevent water from dripping into the custard. If using canning jars, the sealing lids without the rings work well. Aluminum foil also works. Do not use plastic wrap.
- Don’t place the jars directly in the water, elevate them on the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. This helps keep them level and makes it easier to remove when they are done.
- If you are doubling the recipe, use a second trivet to separate the layers of jars.
- Don’t skip the natural pressure release.
Tips for Water Bath Baking Success
- Use a pan with sides that are as tall or taller than your jars.
- Use boiling water to make the water bath and only fill it half way up the sides of the jars.
- Cover the entire pan with aluminum foil instead of covering each custard cup individually. The oven is a very dry environment and you want to try to trap as much of the moisture as possible.
- Test the custard for doneness by gently shaking the pan, the custard should jiggle in the middle, but be set around the edges.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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Blackberry White Chocolate Pots de Creme Recipe
Delightfully delicious layers of white chocolate custard with layers of homemade blackberry sauce, and fresh whipped cream make blackberry white chocolate pots de creme the perfect addition to your next date night or dinner party.
For best results, make the blackberry sauce and custard cups at least one day in advance to give them time to chill and set up properly. They can be made up to three days in advance, but don’t assemble them together until it’s time to serve. Garnish with fresh or frozen blackberries, chocolate shavings, crushed nuts, or all of the above.
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White Chocolate Pots de Creme
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 TBSP white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 oz white chocolate (melted)
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- 2 TBSP white sugar
- Whipped cream
- White chocolate shavings
Set a kettle to boil water for the instant pot or water bath. Water for the water bath must be hot. While not absolutely necessary for the instant pot, it will pressurize much faster with hot water. If using the oven, preheat to 300º.
Assemble the White Chocolate Custard
- In a medium saucepan combine heavy cream and milk.
- In a small to medium mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Stirring constantly, heat cream and milk over a medium flame until small bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan and the mixture starts to simmer.
- Slowly add the hot cream into the whisked egg yolk mixture. Start with one tablespoon and add the rest slowly as you whisk constantly. Adding the hot cream too fast can cause the yolks to cook. Use a wash rag or towel under the bowl as you whisk to hold the bowl in place.
- Add the melted white chocolate to the warm custard mixture, whisking to combine completely.
- Pour the white chocolate custard mixture through a sieve to strain out any bits of cooked egg. A four cup measuring cup with a pour spout makes it very easy to then transfer to your baking cups.
- Pour the custard evenly into three 5 - 8 ounce cups. Wide mouth pint sized canning jars, ramekins, or any similar heat proof container will work.
Instant Pot Baking Instructions
- Loosely cover each jar individually to keep out excess moisture. If using canning jars the sealing lids without the rings work very well. For other jars, use aluminum foil.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of your instant pot. Add hot water just up to the bottom of the trivet, making sure to use the recommended minimum for your instant pot. Place the covered jars of white chocolate custard onto the trivet.
- Lock the instant pot lid in place and set the manual pressure to high for 6 minutes. Turn off the keep warm function. Once done, allow the IP to natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the custard cups from the instant pot and place on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Move the custard cups to the fridge and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Water Bath Baking Instructions
- Place the three white chocolate custard cups into an 8" x 8" square cake pan.
- Carefully add hot water to the base of the cake pan, adding enough to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Cover with aluminum foil and carefully transfer to the hot oven.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. To test if it's done, lightly jiggle the pan. The edges should be set and the middle of the custard should jiggle lightly. It will continue to set while it cools.
- Remove the custards from the oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least thirty minutes. Move the custard cups to the fridge and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Homemade Blackberry Sauce
- While the custard in baking, make the blackberry sauce.
- Add the blackberries and sugar to a small saucepan over a medium high flame. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 7 - 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Process the blackberries with an immersion blender or food processor. If your blender is not heat proof, allow the berries to cool for 10 minutes before processing.
- Strain the sauce through a wire sieve to remove the seeds. Use the back of a metal spoon to help push through the pulp and separate the seeds.
- Allow the sauce to cool completely, the refrigerate for at least an hour before layering over the custard.
To Assemble the Blackberry White Chocolate Pots de Creme
- When ready to serve, divide the blackberry sauce evenly over the three custards. There should be enough to put about 3 tablespoons of blackberry sauce on each one.
- Add additional whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, or more blackberries for additional garnish, if desired.
The sauce and custard can be made up to three days in advance, but do not assemble until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489 Total Fat: 34g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 198mg Sodium: 100mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 39g Protein: 6g