Buttermilk & Honey Custard

Gathering Flavors has been my joy for close to nine years, but in recent months every time I sat down to write and to create, there was only silence. I thought I had nothing more to say but a week or so ago, that changed. I remember the exact moment. I was resting in shavasana at the end of a gentle yet energizing yoga class, when much of the stress and sadness of the past year, suddenly lifted. I walked out wanting to embrace the world again. Ten months of grief after my mother’s death had passed. The injury I was nursing from a winter fall—knocked down by overzealous dog play on the ice— finally healed. No more pain. Urges to create and connect and grow suddenly took hold, and I opened my heart to these pages. I open my heart, to you again.

©Custard with Berries and Basil Upclose.jpg

I’m looking forward to a fresh approach, one that is simpler and based more on inspiration in the moment and less on structured recipes. This Buttermilk & Honey Custard is a perfect example. Its inspiration came from several places—the fresh eggs we found at the farmers’ market this past weekend deserved to be used in a dish where their flavor would be prominent. Glorious and juicy red cherries waiting for us at the grocery store ready become a sweet topping for the delicate custard. The basil I just planted in my herb garden was ripe for garnish. And buttermilk, the magic ingredient I always keep on hand in the fridge, awaited me at home. They all came together for a simple yet delicious dessert that can be made over and over again as the summer progresses and fresh fruits ripen around us.

This is the kind of inspiration and recipes I want to offer you as we move forward. Will this serve you well? Let me know in the comments section of this post. I welcome your ideas. Tell me what you want.

And, just so you know, these past few months have not all been sadness. Here are select photos of Bray family adventures to Florence, New York, New Orleans, and here in metropolitan downtown Etna.

Comment below to tell me how you are and how I can best serve you via this blog.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.


©Simple Buttermilk Custard by Dena t Bray.jpg

Buttermilk & Honey Custard

About 6 Servings


  • Butter for the pan

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup honey

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons coarse cornmeal or polenta

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • Pinch salt

  • Fresh fruit and herbs for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Butter a nine-inch pie plate.

  3. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into the prepared pie plate.

  4. Place the pie plate in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F. and bake until just set, about another 30 minutes. (The custard can be a bit loose at the center when you take it out of the oven. It will thicken as it cools.)

  5. Allow the custard to cool completely before serving. Chill if you like.

  6. Serve at room temperature or cold with the fresh fruit and herbs of your choice.

Dena Testa Bray has been writing Gathering Flavors, a culinary blog, since 2011. She is a trained chef & ran a home based cooking school. Dena now designs websites, focusing on work with creative people. You can see her website work at www.denatestabray.net. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and family.