Summer Verrines with Strawberries, Vanilla Custard and Crumble


Photo and Styling by Béatrice Peltre

With both Irish and French roots, my daughter Lulu tells me this dessert—with delicate flavors of vanilla custard, nuts and fruit—is the best of both worlds. So whenever I want to treat her with dessert, this is the one we turn to and prepare together. Feel free to substitute the strawberries with other summer fruit if you prefer, such as peach, or a combination of your favorites.

Serves 6

2¼ cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup blond cane sugar
¼ cup cornstarch, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup dark muscovado sugar
¼ cup sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and diced
1 pound strawberries, hulled and diced
Confectioners’ sugar, to dust (optional)
1 tablespoon mint, finely minced

In a pot, bring the milk to a simmer; remove from the heat and set aside. In another bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light in color. Stir in the cornstarch. Pour the hot milk slowly over this mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract and return the preparation to the pot. Heat on low while constantly stirring until the cream thickens and coats the spoon. Transfer the vanilla custard to a clean bowl. Cover with a piece of wax paper directly on the surface and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the rolled oats, millet flour, almond meal, sugar and sunflower seeds. Using the tip of your fingers, rub in the butter until crumbles form. Transfer the crumbs to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden in color, almost like granola. Remove and set aside to cool.

Take 6 small water glasses and start layering the dessert. Add 2 tablespoons vanilla custard and then 1 tablespoon crumble in each glass. Divide the fruit between the 6 glasses. Finish with 2 tablespoons custard and 1 more of crumble in each glass.

Place the finished verrines in the fridge until ready to enjoy. When serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar if you like, and decorate with minced mint.

Keep the leftover crumble refrigerated, or frozen, for future use.

Note: This dessert is gluten free.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2019 issue as part of a larger story on Kids in the Kitchen—Summer Baking.