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Strawberry Shortcake and Passion Fruit Verrine

Strawberry Shortcake and Passion Fruit Verrine

1 cup milk
1 cup passion fruit juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeds removed and reserved
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 recipe Passion Fruit Simple Syrup (see Download for recipe)
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 (2-ounce) box prepared meringue cookies*, crumbled
Garnish: 4 fresh strawberries, halved vertically 

• In a medium saucepan, combine milk, juice, and reserved vanilla seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
• In a medium bowl, combine yolks, ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and cornstarch, whisking until smooth.
• Using a ladle, pour 1 cup hot milk mixture in a slow steady stream into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add remaining hot milk mixture, whisking to combine. Transfer mixture back to saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until thick and mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted. Transfer pastry-cream mixture to a plastic container, and cover with plastic wrap.
• Refrigerate pastry cream for at least 2 hours.
• Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.
• To assemble, divide half of Passion Fruit Simple Syrup and half of chopped strawberries among 8 individual dessert glasses or bowls. Divide pastry cream among glasses. Divide remaining half of Passion Fruit Simple Syrup and remaining half of chopped strawberries among glasses. Top each glass with a layer of whipped cream, and sprinkle with crumbled cookies.
• Garnish each serving with a strawberry half, if desired.

*For testing purposes, we used Heavenly Desserts Vanilla Meringue Cookies.  

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