Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Heavenly! These luscious, richly fragrant vanilla pudding custard parfaits are made with real vanilla bean, a hint of brandy, fresh seasonal fruits, lemony herbs from the garden, prepared mini shortcakes and fresh whipped cream--they're extraordinary! And, so simple to make (uses a box of vanilla pudding mix, not instant). If you are a vanilla lover as I am, then this is most definitely for you! Better make extra, as you'll be longing for more! :) These parfaits are best eaten while the pudding custard is still warm, but they're good the next day, too. Tip: I make the fruit salad in the morning or a day ahead, and make the vanilla pudding custard right before serving. Enjoy!!
For the Vanilla Pudding Custard
- 1 (8 ounce) package vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons brandy (or cognac)
For the Fruit Salad
- about 3 cups fresh fruit (I used blackberries, blueberries, apricots, strawberries, and bananas)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup sugar (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh lemon verbena leaf
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon balm leaves
For the Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1⁄2 pint whipping cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 8 prepared mini shortcakes
- Make the fruit salad: Combine the fresh fruits in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon verbena and lemon balm. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make the Vanilla Pudding Custard, about 1 hour before serving: In a microwave safe 2-quart bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, brandy, vanilla extract and scraped vanilla bean and seeds. Cook in the microwave on high heat for 6-8 minutes, whisking every two minutes, until thickened.
- Make the Whipped Cream: Whip the cream until soft peaks form; add the vanilla extract and sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble the parfaits: Place a mini shortcake in the bottom of each individual dessert or parfait glass (I used mini trifle glasses). Ladle the warm vanilla pudding custard over the shortcakes. Spoon the fruit salad over, and top with whipped cream. Garnish tops of parfaits with fresh sprigs of lemon verbena, lemon balm, or fresh fruit.