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