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Lemon Custard, Blueberry, and Shortbread Verrines

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Buttery shortbread adds sweetness and crunch to the tangy, floral combination of lemon and blueberry in this refreshing dessert.


  • 2 medium lemons
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup blueberry preserves
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 5- to 6-oz. box of shortbread cookies, such as Walkers, cut into 1/2-inch squares, or 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes Poppyseed Shortbread

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 400
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 120
  • Carbohydrates (g): 47
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 3


Make the custard

  • Using a citrus zester (see How to Zest Lemons), cut 8 long curls of zest from one of the lemons. Finely grate 1-1/2 tsp. of zest from the other. Squeeze both to yield 1/4 cup juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 3 Tbs. sugar.
  • Put 1 cup of the cream in a 1-quart saucepan, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream, and add the bean. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly whisk the cream into the yolks, then return the mixture to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and you can trace a clean line through it on the back of the spoon, 1 to 2 minutes (do not let it boil). Immediately transfer to a small bowl. Remove the vanilla bean, stir in 1 tsp. of the lemon zest, and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Refrigerate the custard until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

Make the blueberry syrup

  • In a 1-quart saucepan, boil the blueberry preserves and 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Force through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl, pressing on the solids with a spatula. Let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. (The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Macerate the berries

  • Reserve 24 blueberries for garnish. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining blueberries, the remaining 2 Tbs. lemon juice, and the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar. Set aside to macerate, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, at least 1 hour.

Assemble the verrines

  • Divide the custard evenly among eight 8- to 10-oz. flat-bottomed glasses. Layer with the blueberry syrup, shortbread squares, and macerated berries.
  • In a chilled bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream and the remaining 1/2 tsp. lemon zest to stiff peaks with an electric mixer on medium speed. Top each verrine with a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with the reserved blueberries and a curl of lemon zest.

Make Ahead Tips

The lemon custard and blueberry syrup can both be prepared up to 1 day ahead.

The macerated blueberries can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours.

The verrines can be assembled up to 2 hours ahead. Top with the whipped cream, lemon zest, and reserved blueberries just before serving


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • natflamingo | 01/27/2015

    I used 8-ounce mason jars and the custard filled six. Prepared the dessert 3 hours ahead of time per instructions and they were fine.

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