Macerating peaches, plums and cherries with vanilla and sugar creates a rich juice that is fabulous spooned over silky pudding. Keller serves the dessert with buttery, crumbly shortbread, a staple at his Bouchon Bakeries.
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Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces), plus more for dusting
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste (see Note)
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin softened in 2 tablespoons of cold
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 large peach, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 large plums, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup pitted cherries, halved
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
How to Make It
Step 1 make the shortbread cookies
Preheat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine all of the shortbread ingredients and beat at medium speed until the dough just comes together. Pat the dough into a 6-inch square, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 8-inch square, 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 4 strips, then cut each strip into 5 cookies. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately sprinkle the cookies with sugar and let cool.
Step 3 make the pudding
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream and vanilla paste and bring to a simmer. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly but gently with a wooden spoon, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin until melted. Strain the pudding through a fine sieve into a medium heatproof bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche until firm peaks form, then fold into the pudding. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
Step 5 meanwhile, prepare the stone fruits
Combine all of the ingredients in the top of a double boiler. In the bottom of the double boiler, bring 2 inches of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Set the fruit over the water, cover and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve, spoon the pudding into bowls and top with the fruits and their juices. Arrange the cookies on a platter and serve alongside.
The cookies can be kept at room temperature and the pudding can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Vanilla paste is available at specialty food stores and online at kingarthurflour.com. You can also substitute seeds scraped from half of a plump vanilla bean for 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla paste.
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