Prepare the jam and custard up to a day ahead, and refrigerate separately. Assemble the desserts before serving. The jam is also good with toast, pancakes, or pound cake.
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries, divided
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 (6-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
Mint sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare jam, combine 1/3 cup water and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup chopped strawberries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is syrupy, mashing strawberries with a fork. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 cup chopped strawberries. Pour into a bowl, and cool completely. Cover and chill.
To prepare crème, sprinkle gelatin over whole milk in a small saucepan; let stand for 10 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds and bean to milk mixture. Cook the milk mixture over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until gelatin dissolves, stirring constantly with a whisk. Increase heat to medium, and add 6 tablespoons sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in buttermilk. Remove and discard vanilla bean. Spoon about 1/2 cup buttermilk mixture into each of 6 small glasses. Cover and chill 6 hours or until set. Top each serving with 3 tablespoons berry jam. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.
This was OK, but not nearly as good as I was expecting. The creme needs more flavor, the vanilla got lost in that much milk. The jam was fine but mine never got syrupy, not that I'm sure that would matter. A little fine-tuning would help, including more flavoring in the creme.
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