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An uncomplicated, humble sweet is the perfect conclusion to a charming and  enchanted evening.

Plain vanilla shines through in these simple, divinely delicious desserts, as oppositely unembellished as the celebrated, glitter and glow of the star-studded Oscars evening.


2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
1 package of frozen tart shells

Whisk together sugar and flour in a 3 quart heavy saucepan, add buttermilk and eggs and whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly 7 to 8 minutes or until a pudding like thickness. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla bean paste. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.
Bake tart shells if needed, according to package directions, and cool compleately.
Spoon custard into tart shells, and top with desired toppings just before serving.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, March 2012


vanilla panna cotta

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon cold water

2/3 cup cream

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

1 1/3 cups fresh raspberries

fresh mint sprigs

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water, set aside to soften gelatin.

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat whipping cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and raspberry jam over medium heat to simmering, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. With whisk, stir in softened gelatin until completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Divide cream mixture evenly among glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Just before serving, top each panna cotta with fresh raspberries and garnish with mint.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker